Coal Use in Asia Set to Rise – 11/25/16

China has said it will take over as an environmental leader should the U.S. pull back from the role, but the country will have enough trouble meeting its own targets. China’s utilities would have to phase out coal use by 2040 to meet its emissions goals, according to Climate Analytics, a Berlin-based non-profit that is studying the Paris Climate talks.

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Unfortunately, China, and Asia as a whole, is more likely to see demand for coal is increase than decrease for years to come.

According to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance using International Energy Agency data, China’s coal consumption is set to rise substantially. Despite efforts by Chinese policymakers to reduce coal use, the largest Asian nation continues to build roughly two new coal plants a week.screenshot-2016-11-22-at-9-36-24-am

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The BNEF’s outlook has China’s rate of building coal-fired power stations slowing to one a week in the next five years, though it indicates that even with no new construction the nation could meet all its power demands. If you are wondering why the coal plants are still being constructed then see “China’s Power Plant Problem” for more information. The short version is reluctance to follow-through on cutbacks at the local level for fear of social unrest and loss of tax revenue.

The report also showed Japan is pushing ahead with new coal-fired plants in response to the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Concerns about nuclear plants following the incident appear to have soured the country on nuclear power.

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