China's plans on cleaner coal power plants

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14 February 2018

When assessing US and Chinese approaches to coal, it’s important to remember one key background fact: The US is blessed with abundant, accessible, cheap natural gas; China is not. This difference crucially shapes climate strategy.

China's energy source is mostly based on coal power plants. While supplying 1.3 billion people with electricity, switching to gas or renewables is indeed a very tricky challenge. 

It's obvious that China has to use coal anyways, making it major emission source. For this reason, China decided to build advanced ultra-supercritical power plants operated under higher temperatures and pressures. These power plants not only increase efficiency but also yield less pollution per unit of coal. 

Most of power plants being built in China these days are ultra-supercritical. Also, it is much easier to add carbon capture and sequestration to ultra-supercritical plants.


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