China Won’t Build New Coal Projects Abroad

Expect Big Boost To Renewables & Possibly A Coal-Free World As Xi Jinping Says China Won’t Build New Coal Power Plants Abroad, Instead Support Developing Nations For Low-Carbon & Green Energy

China Won’t Build New Coal Projects Abroad

Even as Chinese President Xi Jinping (in the picture) said his country won’t be investing in new coal fired capacity abroad, he did not share any details about the current crop of coal-fired power plants it has its money on in various countries, not to mention his own nation. (Photo Credit: Government of China)

  • China has said it won’t build any new coal power plants outside of China henceforth
  • It would increase its support to developing nations to develop green and low-carbon energy
  • This should give a boost to renewables across the nations that depend on Chinese money to finance their energy future

Infamous as the world’s biggest emitter of GHG emissions, China has said henceforth it won’t be building any new coal-fired power projects abroad. In a pre-recorded address at the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country would instead increase support for other developing countries to develop green and low-carbon energy.

Even though the details are scarce at present, one can readily believe this one sentence by the Chinese President means an end to any prospective future of coal-fired power plants beyond Chinese borders.

It also translates into China increasing its presence into other nations through low-carbon energy sources, something it is already doing through various state and private companies in the solar domain particularly. To be noted here is the fact that China is already the world’s leading and the largest supplier of solar PV products – domestically and abroad – as the government here heartily supports and incentivizes large scale PV manufacturing.

Nonetheless, what Jinping’s announcement would also do is force nations dependent on Chinese finance to look for alternative sources of energy to meet their future electricity requirements for a host of industries. This could could really support the renewables growth and thereby enable a quicker clean energy transition for the world. China has several large solar developers that could now jump into that space and offer solar power plants instead of coal.

According to analysts at Global Energy Monitor (GEM) and E3G, the global pipeline of proposed coal power plants has collapsed by 76% since the Paris Agreement in 2015, representing 1,175 GW in capacity. A total of 44 governments, as per a September 2021 publication by the duo, have committed to no new coal.

“An end to Chinese finance would facilitate the cancellation of over 40 GW of pipeline projects in 20 countries,” according to the GEM and E3G.

On the other hand, China alone has almost 53% of coal-fired capacity under construction and 55% of pre-construction pipeline, though the Asian giant aims to ‘strictly control’ new coal growth.

“As of July 2021, China and the countries with the next five biggest pre-construction pipelines (India, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Turkey, and Bangladesh) account for over four-fifths of the world’s remaining pipeline. Action by these six countries could remove 82% of the pre-construction pipeline,” according to the report.

According to a Reuters report, China would continue to rely on coal power within the country as it continues to construct 20 such projects in a host of Asian, African and Middle Eastern nations, with another 17 in the planning stage.

Energy Watch Group (EWG) hailed the Chinese announcement, but said it needs to be followed up by the country ending all coal projects nationally within the next decade as that’s the ‘only way to remain within 1.5º C’.

Domestically, China has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, and aims to have more than 1,200 GW of installed solar and wind power capacity by 2030 (see China Aims For Over 1,200 GW Wind & Solar Power By 2030).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.

Subscribe To Newsletter

Register for the upcoming event

Latest Videos


Subscribe To Our Taiyang NewsLetter 
Enter your email to receive our daily solar sector updates.