Reuters reported that China gave the go ahead to over 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity in 2013. That’s six times more than the 2012 total and equivalent to 10 percent of the United States’ yearly usage.
However, despite that increase, coal’s mean share of the country’s energy mix is still set to decrease.
As quoted in the market news:
Much of China’s new capacity is in regions like Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi, reflecting a strategy to close small mines in marginal locations like Beijing and consolidate output in a series of huge “coal industry bases” that will deliver thermal power to markets via the grid.
While expanding output at such bases, China has shut more than 300 million tonnes of old capacity in the last decade, but critics say new mines are rapidly outpacing closures and the policy merely shifts China’s environmental problems elsewhere.
‘Despite the climate change pressure, water resource scarcity and other environmental problems, the coal industry is still expanding fast in northwest China,’ said Deng Ping, a campaigner with environmental group Greenpeace in Beijing.