China chokes but keeps burning 9% more coal each year
Unfortunately, Beijing is fighting an inexorable trend. China, where coal is king, has been building one new coal-fired plant a week for years, just trying to keep up with its rapidly growing economy. The coal-powered capacity that China has added in the past five years exceeds that of all the U.S. coal power plants combined.
China’s momentum is frightening, with coal consumption rushing toward being nearly three times higher than it was in 2000.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, China consumes nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined, according to the Department of Energy’s EIA.
China’s coal demand averaged 9% per year from 2000 to 2010, more than double the global growth rate of 4% and significantly higher than global growth excluding China, which averaged only 1%, according to the EIA.