From the Guardian - Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest
"China could waste as much as half a trillion dollars on unnecessary new coal-fired power stations, a climate campaign group has said, arguing that the world’s top carbon polluter already has more than enough such facilities.
China’s rise to become the world’s second largest economy was largely powered by cheap, dirty coal. But as growth slows, the country has had a difficult time weaning itself off the fuel, even as the pollution it causes wreaks havoc on the environment and public health.
Many of China’s giant state-owned coal mining firms are unviable and plagued by overcapacity, but the ruling Communist party is reluctant to turn off the financial taps and risk widespread unemployment, with its potential for anger and unrest.
As of July, China already had 895 gigawatt in coal-fired power stations – representing more than half its electricity generation – said the London-based Carbon Tracker Initiative, which argues for limiting carbon emissions using financial data.
The country was operating the coal units at less than half their capacity, the campaign group said on Monday, but “perversely” had another 205GW already under construction and plans for an additional 405GW."
The full article can be read here.