(GPA) Beijing – In an unprecedented move, China has scrapped plans for 85 new coal burning power plants and several other coal energy facilities across eleven provinces.
Following China’s recent announcement to invest $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020, the plan seems to be starting off on the right foot with the cancellation of over 100 coal power projects. The move by China’s National Energy Administration was reported in a document released by the Caixin media group on the 14th.
The projects, some of which were already under construction, are worth an estimated 430 billion yuan (around $62.5 billion USD). Some construction may resume on the facilities after 2025 but likely only to replace facilities that will be obsolete by then.
The projects would have been capable of producing an estimated 120 gigawatts of electricity. To put that number in perspective, it’s around a thirds of the United States’ coal production capacity of 305 gigawatts. This is just part of a continued shift being made by China, a country that just 4 years ago, consumed as much coal as the rest of the world combined.
China is expecting to have over half of their energy produced by cleaner sources such as wind, hydro, solar and nuclear by 2020. The investment by the state is also expected to produce nearly 13 million new jobs.
China and the US together, account for around 38% of the world’s carbon emissions and it was the agreements reached between the two countries in Paris last year that encouraged other nations to get on board a new UN climate agreement. China has asked US president-elect Donald Trump to stick to the accords upon taking office after Trump spoke of scrapping the agreement in his campaign. Now it seems that if Trump does keep his campaign promises, China will easily take the lead in steering the global community towards cleaner power.