The Strategist

China ramps up construction of coal-fired power plants in 2022

02/27/2023 - 13:40

Chinese government officials granted approval for 106 GW worth of new coal-fired power station construction projects last year. This is the highest amount since 2015 and more than four times the level from 2021.

Stuart Rankin
Stuart Rankin
Global Energy Monitor (GEM) and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) released this information today, February 27. Their data shows that the capacity of power plants built in China last year has grown by more than 50%, up to 50 GW.

Experts claim that China's recent energy problems are responsible for the sharp increase in coal-fired power plants. Massive power outages hit the nation in the fall of 2021 as a result of soaring industrial demand, problems with the coal supply, and efforts to switch to cleaner energy sources. Last summer, there were also power outages in southern China as a result of the drought and a corresponding decrease in energy production at nearby hydropower plants.

The Chinese government has expressed concern about energy shortages, as CREA and GEM note, which is why many coal-fired power plant projects received approval and financing last year in just a few short months. China still relies primarily on coal-fired power plants to produce its energy.