New research has identified that 18% of China’s coal-fired power plants “can be retired first and rapidly” to help the nation achieve its goal of “carbon neutrality” by 2060. The paper, published in Nature Communications, finds that 186 out of China’s 1,037 active coal plants are – from a technical, economic and environmental perspective – performing poorly and are “particularly suitable” for fast-track retirement. The researchers say the prioritised shutdown could allow other existing plants to reach a minimum lifetime of 20 or 30 years – with gradually reduced operational capacity – under scenarios consistent with the 1.5C or “well-below” 2C temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, respectively. The plan would see China phase out coal entirely by 2045 under the 1.5C scenario, or by 2055 under the 2C pathway, the study says.
Carbon Brief 25th March 2021 read more »