Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

China cancels 170 GW of coal

China is key to reducing global emissions.  It emits about 30% of the world's CO2.  In effect, the rest of us can make all heroic efforts we can, but if China is still growing its consumption of carbon fuels, we won't cut emissions fast enough to avoid 3 degrees C warming, let alone 1.5.

Coal is also key.  Burning coal is the single largest source of  CO2 emissions globally.  So news from China that it is cancelling 150 GW (gigawatts) of new coal capacity is excellent.  Late last year and early this year, China cancelled 137 GW of new and under-construction coal power stations, taking total cancellations up to 287 GW. Current coal generation capacity is 900 GW, so the equivalent of 30% of current coal capacity has been cancelled.

Coal demand has already fallen in China, down 1.3% in 2014, 3.7% in 2015 and 4.7% in 2016.  Since coal is being partly replaced by gas, which produces half the CO2 that coal does when it is burned, while oil demand is rising as China's car fleet rapidly expands, total emissions haven't fallen.  The rising percentage of EVs and PHEVs in new car sales will at some point cause oil demand to decline, but gas demand is likely to keep on rising, perhaps for another decade, until more CSP plants are built and grid batteries become a lot cheaper.

We're on the right road, and our speed down it is accelerating, but we are still  a long way from the end.

Read more here:

China Halts Construction On 150 Gigawatts Of New Coal Power Plants
Renewables Boom as China Halts or Eliminates Another 170 Gigawatts of Coal Power Plants

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