Coal power in China

The People's Republic of China is the largest consumer of coal in the world, [ [ Energy Statistics > Coal consumption (most recent) by country] . Accessed 07/01/08.
China: 1,310,000,000 Billion short tons of coal consumed per year
United States: 1,060,000,000 (same units)
] and is about to become the largest user of coal-derived electicity, getting 1.95 trillion kilowatt-hours per year, or 68.7% of its electricity from coal as of 2006 (compared to 1.99 trillion kilowatt-hours per year, or 49% for the US). [See Wikipedia article on chinese Economy] Uranium Information Centre. [ Nuclear power in China] .] Hydroelectric power supplied another 20.7% of China's electricity needs in 2006. With approximately 13 percent of the world's proven reserves, China has enough coal to sustain its economic growth for a century or more even though demand is currently outpacing production. [Peter Fairley, "Technology Review". [ Part I: China's Coal Future] , January 5, 2007.] China's coal mining industry is the deadliest in the world and has the world's worst safety record [BBC News. [ China orders bosses down mines] . 7 November 2005.] where an average of 13 people die every day in the coal pits, compared to 30 per year for coal power in the United States.BBC News. [ 105 die in China mine explosion] . December 7, 2007.] Coal production rose 8.1% in 2006 over the previous year, reaching 2.38 billion tons, and the nation's largest coal enterprises saw their profits exceed 67 billion yuan, or $8.75 billion.International Herald Tribune. [ Chinese coal industry in need of a helping hand] ]

While China boasts the greatest use of coal power, it is 3rd in the world in terms of total coal reserves behind the United States and Russia. Most reserves are located in the north and north-west of the country, which poses a large logistical problem for supplying electricity to the more heavily populated coastal areas. Coal power is managed by the State Power Grid Corporation.

China's installed coal-based electrical capacity was 484 GW, or 77% of the total electrical capacity, in 2006. [cite news
title = Capacity of China's straw-fueled power plants reaches 1.2 mln kw
language = English
publisher = Xinhua
date = 2007-01-16
url =
accessdate = 2008-07-02
] The dominant technology in the country is coal pulverization in lieu of the more advanced and preferred coal gasification. China's move to a more open economy in the 1990s is cited as a reason for this, where the more immediately lucrative pulverization technology was favored by businesses. There are plans in place for an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) type plant by 2010. [Technology Review. [ Part II: China's Coal Future] , "To prevent massive pollution and slow its growing contribution to global warming, China will need to make advanced coal technology work on an unprecedented scale."] Furthermore, less than 15% of plants have desulphurization systems. [.]

Coal production

China is the largest coal producer in the world.cite web
title = Country analysis briefs: China
publisher = Energy Information Administration
date = August, 2006
url =
accessdate = 2008-07-02
] Northern China, especially Shanxi Province, contains most of China's easily accessible coal. Coal from southern mines tends to be higher in sulfur and ash, and therefore unsuitable for many applications.

Source: State Administration of Work Safety [Mines and Communities Website. [ China and US coal disasters] . 7th January 2006.]

See also

* Coal in the United States


External links

*Peter Fairley, "Technology Review". [ Part I: China's Coal Future] , January 5, 2007.
*Peter Fairley, "Technology Review". [ Part II: China's Coal Future] , January 5, 2007.

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