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. Shanghai To Shut Down 29 Coal Power Plants By 2010

Smaller, less efficient plants are being closed only to be replaced by larger ones. Energy experts estimate the nation builds one coal-fired plant every three days.
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) April 13, 2007
China's financial hub Shanghai plans to shut 29 coal-fired power plants by 2010 in a renewed bid to reduce environmentally damaging carbon emissions, state press reported Friday.

"These small coal-fired power plants, totalling 2.11 million kilowatts in installed capacity, are big energy guzzlers and serious polluters," Xinhua news agency quoted Vice Mayor Feng Guoqin as saying.

"The coal consumption by small plants is 15 percent higher than the average, and their annual emissions of sulphur dioxide exceed 80,000 tonnes."

As the world's second-largest emitter of climate-changing gasses after the United States, and the world's largest coal burner, Beijing's leadership has repeatedly warned of the dangers of China's polluted environment.

The Chinese economy has hummed along at ultra-fast rates of growth for years, at once increasing the wealth of its 1.3 billion people but also causing nearly irreparable damage to its land and water.

To counter the trend Beijing has set goals for renewable energy to account for 16 percent of its overall energy production by 2020, up from about 7.5 percent now.

It also wants to increase its energy efficiency by 20 percent over the next four years.

But as the Chinese economy booms it becomes ever more dependent on imported oil as well as its huge coal reserves.

Smaller, less efficient plants are being closed only to be replaced by larger ones. Energy experts estimate the nation builds one coal-fired plant every three days.

In Shanghai the 29 small plants will also be replaced by larger energy plants, Feng said.

The new plants, with a combined capacity of three million kilowatts, will save Shanghai about 1.1 million tonnes of coal a year, according to the vice mayor.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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