SANHE, China (Reuters) – China Energy Group, the country’s biggest power generator, will add more than 6 gigawatts (GW) of new ultra-low emission coal-fired capacity this year as it bids to meet growing electricity demand, a senior official with the firm said on Thursday.
The company also expected to build another 5 GW of low-emission capacity next year, Xiao Jianying, the head of the state-run firm’s coal-fired power department, told Reuters.
“China still has quite a big demand for electricity. The government now supports regions with poor wind and solar resources to use coal-fired power … it’s a more practical measure, as gas is still too expensive,” said Xiao.
China Energy operated coal-fired plants with a total capacity of 175 GW at the end of 2018, 77.4% of its total capacity and about 10% of the entire country’s capacity.
Xiao said the company would gradually shut down small and polluting coal-fired power units and replace them with efficient ones, noting that total capacity would continue to increase but at a slower rate of growth.