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Despite pandemic China increases coal production, has 5,000 coal mines, and a glut of new plants

Due to the pandemic fully eighty percent of China’s economy ground to a halt in February, but even despite that — coal use still grew in China by 0.9% in 2020. Another nine billion more tons of coal was discovered in 79 northern regions. And China has as much coal generation being built or planned as the USA has in total.

The numbers are still the conversation stoppers they always were. Ponder that China uses half the worlds coal. While the USA closed 32 GW of coal plants over the last two years, China added 43 GW just last year.

China has promised a few meaningless deck-chair-type vows which it then ignores anyway. The government vowed to cut the number of coal mines,  as if that matters. It’s just closing the smaller less efficient mines and opening larger ones instead. As it happens, the number of coal mines was 3,373 in 2018 but now China is aiming just to cap it at 5,000.

Talk of reducing coal use is still just a performance for the West. Two years ago China was caught building coal plants that it said it had abandoned.

China outlines coal capacity plan for 2020

Argus media, June 18th

The Chinese government has outlined a plan aiming to make its coal industry more efficient by continuing to reduce “outdated” production capacity, while simultaneously raising capacity in major producing regions.

A batch of “outdated” mines should be shut permanently this year, China’s main economic planning agency NDRC said in a document released today to reduce the number of coal mines to no more than 5,000. This will help raise production at major mines so that they account for more than 96pc of national output this year.

Right at the end we find that even despite the major pandemic crash that is 2020, Chinese coal production is up nearly 1%.

China’s national coal production reached 1.47bn t during January-May, according to the national bureau of statistics, up by 0.9pc from the same period last year.

Do these numbers mean anything?

Surging coal use in China threatens global CO2 goals

Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter

 China consumes more than half the world’s coal. Today, it has almost as much new coal generation in planning or construction (206 gigawatts) as the United States has in operation (235 GW at the end of 2019).

But no country matches China’s appetite for new coal. The country added 43 GW of new coal capacity last year, up from 32 GW in 2018, according to Global Energy Monitor. Almost 100 GW is under construction and another 105 GW is either permitted or applying for permits. China permitted nearly 8 GW of new coal plant construction between March 1 and March 18, or more than the 6.3 GW permitted in all of 2019.

By comparison, the United States has retired 32 GW of coal capacity since 2017, according to an E&E News analysis of federal statistics. America last built a coal plant in 2015.

Australia can’t even add one new 2GW coal plant. China effectively added twenty times as much.

A glut of new coal-fired power stations endangers China’s green ambitions

The Economist, May 21st 2020 (paywalled)

China is home to half the world’s coal-fired power stations, the most polluting type of generator. Their share of the country’s electricity market is shrinking as nuclear plants and renewables slowly elbow them off the grid. But Chinese investors and local governments are still keen on them. Last year coal-fired generating capacity expanded in China by 37GW (factoring in plant closures)—more than the amount by which it grew globally.

China has been relaxing curbs on building such plants. That suggests more to come.

How about those Paris agreement pledges?

Coal use was growing at 5 or 6% a year…

China boosts coal mining capacity despite climate pledges

Reuters, From March 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – China added 194 million tonnes of coal mining capacity in 2018, data from the energy bureau showed on Tuesday, despite vows to eliminate excess capacity in the sector and to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

However, the total amount of coal mines in China declined to 3,373 in 2018 from 3,907 in 2017, the NEA said in the statement, as Beijing has been phasing out small and ineffective coal mines in eastern regions and expanding capacity in the west

China produced 3.55 billion tonnes of coal in 2018, up 5.2 percent from a year ago, while generating 4.979 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity from coal-fired power plants, up 6 percent from the 2017 level, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

So much for those vows.


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Rating: 9.6/10 (47 votes cast)
Despite pandemic China increases coal production, has 5,000 coal mines, and a glut of new plants, 9.6 out of 10 based on 47 ratings

59 comments to Despite pandemic China increases coal production, has 5,000 coal mines, and a glut of new plants

  • #
    Just Thinkin'

    Coal, wonderful coal.

    While China and other countries are BUILDING more
    Coal fired power Stations, Australia is busy shutting
    them down AND blowing them up. Well, you’ll never need
    them again, eh.
    Australia is heading to oblivion and 97% of the people
    don’t know….and probably don’t care.


    • #
      Serge Wright

      The telling point is that you’ll never see a crazed left-wing protester on the front lawn of the Chinese embassy in Canberra, demanding action. These people don’t care about Chinese coal or their massive and still growing CO2 emissions. The same applies to the entire undeveloped and developing countries that emit 2/3 of all CO2 and are the only countries that have increased global CO2 emissions since 1980, before CC was even considered a problem. Noting the collective emissions of the developed countries, including us, are the same today as 40 years ago, despite the enormous rise in atmospheric CO2.

      This highlights the real issue here, that the crazed left-wing protest mob, whose agenda is run from the UN, are using CO2 and CC as a means to change the system to one that they falsely believe will gift them a life without the labours of work and provide unlimited wealth, power and control. The enemy is western civilisation and it’s system of capitalism and democracy and every pet left wing cause ends up at the same point of blame, including the recent BLM riots. When you read the fine print of the climate agreements and note that the developing and undeveloped countries are exempt from any binding emissions reductions targets and subsequent fines, and yet are the supposed prime cause of the claimed CO2 problem, you understand why their emissions have only ever been going up since the agreements were created and will continue to go up, because these countries, including China have the free pass to prosperity and global control and are running to global control with this free pass, with the full support of all radical left wing protesters.

      So yes, coal is wonderful and every left-wing protester notes it’s wonders through both their lack of protest and unbridled support towards their ideological Marxist masters in China and similar countries that will provide a brutal and bloody end to their enemies that promote or support the system of western democracy.


  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    We can only hope that the quiet Australians wake up soon (if it’s not too late already) that they have been taken for fools …

    The largest railway viaduct in the world——Fenhe Railway Bridge Menghua蒙华铁路汾河大桥铺轨

    May, 2019: Menghua Railway, China’s LONGEST coal transporting railway line, is expected to be put in operation in Oct.
    The 1,837-km railway will carry 200 million tonnes of coal annually from N China’s Inner Mongolia to E China’s Jiangxi.

    Bonus doomsday bullsh!t!

    18 June 2020: World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert

    “International Energy Agency chief warns of need to prevent post-lockdown surge in emissions”

    Tell the CCP!


    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Yes Travis we all need to be resented with simple facts REPEATEDLY.
      And the fact China has opened 5000 new coal mines is a great one to know.
      Why ?
      1 : It tells us what the Chinese really think about ‘Global Warming”..
      Their actions tell us they think it’s a fake scare.
      (Remember what they did in Wuhan with areal scare in January ! )

      2: It tells us also lays out the simple facts for all of us climate sceptics
      To persuade the rest of our national communities of the accuracy of our scepticism.
      After all there are still an awful lot of people who still think that this new religion is real.


    • #

      Nice glossy video you reference in the YouTube link.
      Surely it’s more like this 2016 video of actual railroad coal transportation –


    • #

      Nice glossy video you reference in the YouTube link.
      Surely it’s more like this 2016 video of actual railroad coal transportation –


  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    What is the most stupid thing you have EVER heard?

    I’ll start. Solar panels and wind turbines will improve the world’s climate …

    bp Statistical Review of World Energy 2020: a pivotal moment

    Evidence of improved climate: zero.


  • #

    China has no intention of reducing coal fired power generation and will continue to increase it behind it’s Global pretence of being a ‘Leader’ in Green energy. Why should it concern itself about ‘Global Warming’ when all of it’s science and meteorology shows this is a scam; and a very helpful one to China.

    China wants the West to de-industrialise so as to neuter it against China’s global empire building, hence it’s pretence of concern about Green Energy.

    Anyone who thinks that China has any good intentions at all towards the West is living in cloud-cuckoo land.


    • #
      el gordo

      That would be me sir, we can work with the CCP fascists.

      They are closing down dangerous old coal mines, which should account for something.


      • #
        Fred Streeter

        Précising Green China Watchers:

        China’s current Five-Year Plan (2016 – 2020) aimed to close down 800 million tons of older mines, which they have. But that tonnage was concurrently being replaced by larger, safer, efficient mines.

        China’s next Five-Year Plan (2021 – 2025) is unlikely to set targets for coalmine closures. There would then be no pressure on Local Governments to close older mines.

        No closures would then help China to meet a potential* required increase in coal-fired generating capacity from the current 1,050 GW to 1,300 GW in the next Five-Year Plan.

        (* No longer able to import coal.)


    • #

      Yes, Roger, you’re correct.

      Chinese are generally highly ethnocentric and will act in their own interests and their group interests. CCP, however, are more like parasites on their own ethnic group and on the out group.


  • #

    The myth of Climate Change(tm) isn’t about climate – its about killing off western industry.

    What else can it be?

    Meanwhile in China…..


    • #


      I agree, Western elite have bought into the new slavery paradigm which will strip us of the small vestiges of autonomy we have left.


  • #
    graham dunton

    This morning coal news
    india- PM Modi Announces India’s New Coal Boom

    Benny Peiser
    GWPF Newsletter 18/06/20

    1) Unleashing Coal: PM Modi Announces India’s New Coal Boom
    IANS News Service, 18 June 2020

    2) India ‘Frees Coal Sector From Decades Of Lockdown’: PM Launches Commercial Mining Auctions
    IANS News Service, 18 June 2020


  • #

    Does china actually need Australia’s coal any more or have they got enough of their own? If so, does Australia have any new markets they can open up.

    I won’t be so naive as to suggest you should be creating more coal fired power stations and burning your own coal in them.


  • #

    As I keep telling the eco-Nazis.

    You can’t stop them.
    What’s coming is coming.
    Better buckle up for the ride.


  • #
    Another Ian


    “A Cautionary tale for Bloggers”


  • #
  • #

    “Surging coal use in China threatens global CO2 goals’ … the good news keeps coming in on the ebb of Coronavirus.


  • #

    And Mongolia has some of the biggest undeveloped coal resources in the world, which haven’t been developed because historically they were too far from ports. In fact this is one major theory why China and Mongolia didn’t develop until late in the Industrial Age, unlike the UK and Europe coal markets in the east were distal from the actual coal locations, with rivers being unnavigable to transport the coal, unlike in Europe, so Europe got a jump over East Asia in the early Industrial Revolution. This was not the only reason of course, as other things like difficulty in getting patents and protecting private property rights has always hindered the east’s development. (A book which discusses this is Why the West Rules).

    But much of East Asia’s coal is still there, particularly Mongolia……


  • #

    Jo, what is a “coal plant”? Do you mean a coal mine, or a coal fired power station?


    • #

      Maybe ancient vegetation?



    • #

      In Australia our resources grow on trees ie: Coal tree or plant, we use British back packers to harvest our coal during coal season.

      Either that or, at the mine we use mobile plant to extract and transport to the processing plant which can be, crushing to reduce size for processing, Processing can be simple washing to remove impurities (cleaning out the crud) to more complex flotation and pelletising for recovery, grade and transport, called a processing plant. Coal plant can be classified as all of those.


  • #

    Is this the first time in world history that a nation with one of the strongest economies is called a developing economy and permitted to do things others rated developed must not do, example increase CO2 emissions (called Carbon pollution) in defiance of the UN IPCC Paris Agreement?


  • #

    Jo btw I get a “not secure” message on my browser at your site, which means that your hosting service is not using https, a more secure internet protocol that http. In the light of today’s announcement by Morrison that we are being under cyber attack, I suggest you ask your hoster to fix this, ASAP.


  • #

    Just heard Scott Morrison refer to a “Whole Of Kommunity Effort” as a means of shoehorning a new acronym into our konversation; sudden use of the word “community” in official communiques is indicative of a leap to a new spin level.


  • #
    Rob Kennedy

    Dear Comrades, our future has been planned for some time. The World Economic Forum has a cute video on Youtube about “The Great Reset”. By the way, this organization’s mission says: The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
    Mind you they are not yet saying what they will do if us comrades do not cooperate.
    The World Economic Forum also was one of the organizers/sponsors for the Event 201 pandemic conference last October in New York, along with Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Visit their web site
    They have a finger in every pie. The virus helped them to achieve a lot of what their floundering climate change program was under-achieving. Now world events are a witches cauldron of divisive sub programs to create chaos so that we will ultimately beg someone to restore law and order. All are linked to overwhelm us. We resisted the fake climate crap but fell into the mire of “pandemic”, black lives matter, get rid of police, arson, riot and more to come I guess. It’s a planned program – a conspiracy.


  • #
    Ronald Bruce

    Where are the protests against China building power stations and burning our coal to make cheap electricity that we are not allowed to have. The warmist greens are hypocrites and it has nothing to do with the climate it is a ploy to destroy the western world capitalist system.


    • #

      Yes, most of us here have figured that out a long time ago. I do find it odd though the LNP haven’t figured it out yet, which is why I consider them worse than the ALP and Greens. The LNP should know better but have lost all credibility on the matter. At least the ALP and Greens are open and honest why they want to reduce our emissions, even though those intentions are false. On the other hand, the LNP dance around the issue and pretend they have explained their reasons but actually haven’t and instead are treating the public like fools, which many of course are fools.


      • #
        Kalm Keith

        The prime issue is turnover. Capital turnover where they skim enough to keep them happy and the essentially useless thingamibobs get installed.

        Libs or Labs, it makes no difference.



  • #

    endangers China’s green ambitions

    LOL. The assumption in that phrase is amusingly naive


  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    It was in the news a year or so ago that Californians are becoming increasingly unhappy with the Blue Gum trees ( history here and more so since the recent fires.

    Insofar as coal is not ‘pc’ but burning wood is (see DRAX Power Station), perhaps Australia could send representatives to CA to buy these trees and ship them home. Burning them will produce “good CO2″, or something. Details on this are a little fuzzy. To me, anyway.


    • #
      Bill In Oz

      John I heard so many complaints about Eucalypts when I was in the USA.
      And lots of complaints about woodpeckers bringing down power poles by pecking their borrows in them.

      Turn those blue gums into power & phone poles and stop using pines !
      The gum trees are hard wood & solid.
      The woodpeckers will find them to hard.

      Two problems solved with one change !


    • #

      Blue Gum can make an excellent flooring and furniture timber as well,


      Crooked growing stuff can be particularly interesting to try to work with. ;-)


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