The country intends to cap coal powered electricity generation at 1 100 GW (still a huge amount of coal fired generation) and have coal supply no more than 55% of the country’s energy needs. This is a start. Of course, the eventual worth of moves like this depend entirely on how long the remaining coal fired stations are going to be left in service.
China, for us to give ourselves an outside chance of avoiding 2 degrees C rise in average surface temperatures, must be carbon free (from energy) by about 2050. And they only have that time scale to work in if other richer countries get to zero by around 2035 – 2040.
The cancelled projects amount to about 115 GW of energy – around 10% of projected coal fired energy production.
Instead of coal fired generation, China is committing to bringing 130 GW of solar and wind generation on line by 2020 – equivalent to France’s total renewable power generation capacity (a fair whack of which is obtained through its 19 or 20 nuclear power stations)…and all in the space of 3 years!
Okay. So what is New Zealand doing in the meantime by way of our commitment to this global task? Opening up new coal fired facilities and extending the life of others …and in a legislative framework that rejects or forbids objections to their construction if those objections are based on concerns around climate change.
Isn’t it time New Zealand ‘got with the programme’?