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China and India driving clean power generation

Two out of the five BRICS members are well on their way to exceeding their Paris Agreement climate pledges through driving increased clean power initiatives, Climate Action reported.

So far it has been recorded that coal power plants have closed their doors and there has been a “steep” increase in renewable power generation.

The analysis – released by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) during a UN climate meeting in Bonn, Germany – detailed the positive developments on coal use in China and India are likely to reduce projected global carbon emissions growth by around  2-3 billion tonnes by 2030, compared to forecasts made last year, Climate Action said.

Bill Hare, Director of Climate Analytics, said: “Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping—or even slowing—coal use was considered an insurmountable hurdle, as coal-fired power plants were thought by many to be necessary to satisfy the energy demands of these countries.”

He added: “Recent observations show they are now on the way toward overcoming this challenge.”

Clean power drive

According to Climate Action, “China’s coal consumption has declined for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2016, while India has announced that its planned coal-fired power plants may not be needed.

“Globally, there was a 48% decline in planned coal power stations in 2016, with a 62% fall in construction starts – according to the Boom and Bust 2017 report.”

Earlier this year, China cancelled construction plans for 103 coal power stations, media added. read more…

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the share of coal in China’s total energy consumption mix fell to 62% in 2016 from 64% in 2015.

India is recorded to have twice as much renewable energy capacity as new coal power capacity was installed in the financial year 2016-17. Read more…

“According to the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), if the cost of renewable energy and storage continues to fall at current rates, India could phase out coal power completely by 2050,” Climate Action reported.

If the country fully implements recently announced policies, India would see a significant slowing in the growth of CO2 emissions over the next 10 years –CAT said.

Yvonne Deng, Managing Consultant at Ecofys – one of a group of organisations that contributes to the CAT project – said: “In the last ten years, the energy market has transformed: The price of renewable energy from wind and solar has dropped drastically.

“Renewables are now cost-competitive and being built at a much faster rate than coal-fired power plants,” she added.


Featured image: 123rf

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.