China Briefing, 6 January 2022: New ‘giant’ coal power plant; Hottest year on record; HFC policy

Typical temperature of China in 2021 highest on record.

SOE: Chinas main state-owned enterprises (SOEs)– whose management is straight led by the central federal government or its associations– have been directed to cut their “detailed energy intake” per 10,000 yuan (₤ 1,165) of output worth by 15%, compared to their 2020 levels, throughout the 14FYP duration (2021-2025). These enterprises– that include power generators, building business and manufacturing companies, to name a few– have actually also been instructed to minimize their CO2 emissions per 10,000 yuan of output value by 18%, compared to 2020, over the same period. The orders are amongst a series of commands released by Chinas state possession regulator to SOEs to assist the nation attain its 2030 and 2060 environment targets, according to a main post on 30 December.

Significant coal-fired power project launches very first system.


The device, called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), is created to duplicate and then control the nuclear fusion process happening naturally in the sun with the goal of supplying practically limitless tidy energy, according to a previous Global Times report. The outlet stated that EAST effectively ran at 70mC for 1,056 seconds on 30 December in an experiment.

Welcome to Carbon Briefs China weekly digest. We handpick and explain the most important environment and energy stories from China over the previous 7 days.

Secret developments.

BIGGER PICTURE: Chinas president Xi pledged last September that the nation “will not construct brand-new coal-fired power projects abroad”. Worldwide leaders and politicians– such as Boris Johnson– have actually advised China to phase out the domestic use of coal, too. As China faced worldwide pressure, a series of power scarcities that struck a large part of China late last year led the nation to ramp up its coal production capacity to guarantee “energy security”.

HFC: China provided a new policy in late December to restrict the production of some HFCs in order to “slowly lower” the production and usage of all HFCs. The policy obstructs brand-new building or expansion of the production capacity for five HFCs with broad usage and high worldwide warming potential (GWP), Han Wei– deputy director of the Industry Programme at Energy Foundation China– told Carbon Brief. The five components are HFC-32, HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, hfc-143a and hfc-125. The very first three “account for 75.2% of total HFC production, and have wide use in commercial and commercial a/c and refrigeration, in addition to car cooling,” Han explained..

Chinas meteorological authority revealed that 2021 was Chinas most popular year on record. A representative stated that the countrys typical temperature in 2021 was 10.7 C– 1C higher than “usual”. It likewise noted that extreme weather condition occasions had actually been “widespread” and “regular” in China last year.

Jia Xiaolong, deputy director of National Climate Centre– a subsidiary of the CMA– suggested the function of environment change. Jia explained Chinas “weather condition and environment scenario” in 2021 as “uncommon in a prominent manner”.

MORE RAIN: The northern part of China likewise experienced its 2nd wettest year on record in 2021– after 1964– Song stated. He described that 697.9 mm of rain had fallen on northern China last year, 40.6% more than “usual” for that part of the country. Severe rainstorms damaged the main province of Henan in July, with its capital Zhengzhou registering 201.9 mm of rains in the space of an hour, setting a “historical extreme”, he noted. (The heavy rain set off ravaging flooding, leaving 302 people dead and 50 individuals missing out on in Henan, state news firm Xinhua reported previously.) Across China, the average annual rains stood at 671.3 mm, 6.8% more than “typical”, per main figures.

“This is because China is the worlds largest producer and exporter of HFCs, with exports accounting for more than half of Chinas overall HFC output. By controlling the accessibility of high GWP HFC items in China, exports of these items can be expected to go down,” she stated. Chinas 2060 carbon neutrality objective includes the neutralisation of HFCs, according to Beijings environment envoy Xie Zhenhua.

Other news.

HOT DAYS: Song Shanyun, the CMAs representative, stated that the variety of “hot” days usually across the country was the 2nd highest given that 1961, according to the transcript. He included that the highest temperature of 28 towns and cities exceeded “historic extremes” in August. He stated that southern China had registered 5.7 “hot days” in fall in between 1 September and 6 November, another record high. Tune likewise summed up “5 weather characteristics” of China in 2021: a multitude of “hot” days, back-to-back and extensive local droughts, a less-than-average number of typhoons, an early beginning of sandstorms and a cooler winter on both ends of the year due to “double-dip La Niña”.

SEVERE WEATHER: Spokesman Song stated that severe weather condition occasions had actually been “widespread, frequent, extreme and concurrent” in China last year, with both the typical temperature and amount of rainfall in the north being “extreme”. The CMA likewise published a list of Chinas leading 10 weather occasions in 2021.

China has introduced a new policy prohibiting business from expanding or constructing new production centers for some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)– powerful pollutants used primarily in fridges and air conditioning. One expert told Carbon Brief that the policy is “a significant benefit” to China and the worlds battle versus environment change.

INNER MONGOLIA: Chinas resource-rich Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region produced more than 1.05 bn tonnes of coal in 2021, an increase from 1.006 bn tonnes in 2020, Xinhua reported, citing price quotes from the local energy bureau. Positioned in northern China, the region likewise delivered the highest volume of coal to other provincial-level regions last year, the state-run newswire added.

A brand-new major coal-fired power task in northern China has actually partially gone into operation after a 1,000-megawatt system started producing electrical power in late December. Its operator said that the plant– explained by Reuters as “giant”– is the largest coal-fired power project presently under building in China.

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WHAT: A major coal-fired power task in Inner Mongolia launched the first of its 4 1,000-megawatt (MW) generating systems on 27 December after it had passed a trial run of 168 hours. The company stated that the task– positioned in an energy and chemical base called Shanghaimiao– is the biggest coal-fired power task under building in China.

WHERE: The project is located in Ordos, a city understood for its abundant coal resources. Ordos is one of Chinas 9 “massive coal-fired power bases” accountable for sending and creating power to more economically established areas in eastern China. According to the projects operator, this particular plant is a “essential supporting task” of a broader national task that aims to transmit ultra-high-voltage electricity for 1,238 kilometres (770 miles) from Shanghaimiao to Linyi, a city in the eastern coastal province of Shandong..

WHAT: The average temperature of China in 2021 has set “a historical high”, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA). The authority– which takes care of administrative affairs and scientific research for meteorology– stated last week that the countrys typical temperature over the previous 12 months was 10.7 C, the highest because the record began in 1961 and 1C higher than “normal”. (The CMA utilizes a 30-year average from 1981-2010 as “the value of recent years” or the “usual” worth for meteorological calculations, according to its 2020 National Eco-Meteorological Bulletin.) It noted that 12 provincial-level jurisdictions– including the densely inhabited areas of Jiangsu and Zhejiang on the east coast– had actually seen record-breaking typical temperature levels. The CMA launched the above stats at a monthly press conference on 29 December. The South China Morning Post covered the story.

HOW: Prof Yuan Jiahai from the North China Electric Power University in Beijing told Carbon Brief that although the 1,000-megawatt unit had actually simply been commissioned, it was part of a “backlog” coal-fired power job that had actually been approved in 2011. According to a previous federal government notification, building and construction of the job– which boasted a financial investment of around 22bn yuan (₤ 2.6 bn) and a planned transmission capacity of 10,000 MW– began in March 2016.

WHEN: The news came less than two months after China– together with India– was accused of “watering down” the last COP26 offer by pressing for the phrasing of “stage down” rather of “stage out” for the usage of coal. Reuters composed that China was “under fire for authorizing new coal power stations as other nations try to suppress greenhouse gases”.

COAL: Indonesias choice to prohibit coal exports in January will lead to a “minimal effect” on Chinas coal supply, the Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times reported. Indonesia– Chinas biggest overseas coal provider– stopped exporting coal temporarily from 1 January due to issues of domestic supply shortages. The Global Times stated that the bans “effect on Chinas coal supply, which is greatly dependent on domestic output given that imports just represent about 10 per cent, will be restricted and controllable”. It cited Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University in China. The South China Morning Post and Bloomberg likewise assessed the bans implications for China.

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14FYP: China has released a 14th five-year “advancement strategy” for the “raw products” market to change individual plans for pertinent sectors, including steel, iron and petrochemical, nonferrous metals and structure materials. The strategy was published on 29 December by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). To name a few guidelines, it specifies that the level of “green” development for the “raw materials” industry must be “considerably increased” during the 14FYP duration. It also directs the market to research study and promote new innovations, in addition to implementing “low-carbon trial jobs”, to drive its “green” advancement.

The economic effect of a deep decarbonisation path for China: a hybrid design analysis through bottom-up and top-down linkingMitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

A new study has examined the macroeconomic cost of a “deep” decarbonisation path for China. It also discovered that business will benefit from “moderate” decarbonisation due to reduced coal and oil consumption.

A brand-new research study has examined the health and ecological benefits, along with heating costs, of the “tidy” property heating shift in northern China. It found that although all tidy heating choices reduce the emissions of air toxins and hence lower the number of sudden deaths that arise from the air pollution, the carbon emissions of the numerous tidy heaters “vary significantly”, according to Prof Denise L Mauzerall, a co-author of the paper and professor of ecological engineering and global affairs at Princeton University in the US. She informed Carbon Brief that electric resistance heaters work on a carbon-intensive grid can increase CO2 emissions relative to coal stoves, however heat pumps typically minimize CO2 emissions, especially as the grid decarbonises. “Due to their high efficiency, operating expenses for heatpump are lower than other tidy heaters making them a great long-lasting choice,” Prof Mauzerall included.

Extra reading.

New science.

Ecological benefits and household expenses of tidy heating options in northern ChinaNature Sustainability.

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Ordos is one of Chinas nine “large-scale coal-fired power bases” responsible for creating and transmitting power to more economically developed locations in eastern China. As China dealt with worldwide pressure, a series of power shortages that struck a big part of China late last year led the nation to ramp up its coal production capability to make sure “energy security”. WHAT: The typical temperature of China in 2021 has set “a historic high”, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA). It pointed out Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University in China. The South China Morning Post and Bloomberg likewise examined the restrictions ramifications for China.