China decommissioned or suspended 65 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power stations in 2017, even more than the government’s target of 50 GW, according to a State Council announcement reported by Reuters.
China, the world’s biggest coal power generator, is attempting to transition away from the fuel source in a bid to reduce air pollution levels and carbon emissions, as well as promote emerging clean energy industries. The country is also attempting to upgrade its coal sector by replacing outdated facilities with more efficient, modern power stations.
The government has set a target of reducing its coal-fired power capacity by 109 GW by the end of the decade and keep its total installed capacity below 1,100 GW.
China’s coal consumption rose for the first time since 2013 last year, by 0.4%, fueled by a 6% increase in total power demand. Most of this extra demand was met by other sources, with coal’s percentage of Chinese energy production falling 1.6 percentage points to 60.4%.