16 August 2007 – China has shut down small thermal power plants with an installed capacity totaling 6.95m kW in the first half of the year, which represents close to 70 per cent of its 2007 pre-set goal, reports the Asia Pulse news service.
China has seen rapid growth in its power industry in recent years. By 2006, the country’s totaled installed capacity rose to 622m kW, of which 75 per cent was from coal fired thermal power plants. However, these plants have proved to be energy consuming and heavy polluting, said sources from the national meeting of the State Development and Reform Commission, which was held to discuss the construction of high-capacity power plants and the closure of smaller ones in south China.
The country has set out goals of reducing per-unit gross domestic product energy consumption and discharge of main pollutants by 20 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively by 2010, according to comparable 2005 figures.
To help achieve this China has decided to close small coal fired generating units totaling 50m kW, and fuel fired power plants with capacities totaling between 7m-10m kW during the 2006-2010 period.
Small thermal power plants with installed capacity below 100 000 kW account for 30 per cent of installed thermal power capacity. They contributed nearly 40 per cent of the 14m tons of sulfur dioxide discharged into the air by the country’s power industry last year.
If small capacity generating units are replaced with high capacity units it is estimated that the amount of sulfur dioxide discharged could be cut by 2.2m tons annually.