China has big plans concerning renewable energy in the future. After all, increased adoption of renewable energy sources can help in China’s plan to clean up its skies and minimize the levels of pollution. But while everything seems to be on the right track domestically, quite the opposite appears to be going on outside of its borders.
As online reports indicate, almost half of all the new coal generation expected to occur in the next decade will be due to the work of a number of different Chinese corporations. This is based on data compiled and presented by a Berlin-based environmental group called Urgewald, which showed that there will be more than 700 new coal plants built in China and in other countries over the next few years.
Although Urgewald’s report is clear in that many of the coal plants are going to be based in China, if you look at things based on capacity, you’ll find that about 20 percent of all new coal power stations will be constructed in countries outside of China. All told, Urgewald said that the overall number of planned coal plants for construction is 1,600. This would reportedly expand the world’s coal-fired power generation capacity by about 43 percent.
Heffa Schuecking, the director of Urgewald, said that China’s plan even involves building plants in countries that currently burn little to no coal at all. “Even today, new countries are being brought into the cycle of coal dependency,” Schuecking said. It is a move that is most likely motivated by the potential for profits. (Related: China caught committing ’emissions fraud’ by lying about its industrial pollution.)
For its part, the U.S. could also be in on the coal-fired power game, as President Trump himself declared a vision for a new energy policy that was focused on exports. Primarily, this policy would involve the use of coal alongside other sources of energy. “We have nearly 100 years’ worth of natural gas and more than 250 years’ worth of clean, beautiful coal,” said Trump. “We will be dominant. We will export American energy all over the world, all around the globe.”
But the revelation of the data presented by Urgewald shows that China will likely be on top of all the world’s countries in terms of emissions for the next decade at least, especially if the China-based companies in charge of building the many coal-fired power plants in certain countries like those in the Middle East follow through with their plans.
It is said that out of the 20 biggest coal plant developers in the world, 11 are Chinese, based on data from Urgewald. Some examples of Chinese firms involved are Shanghai Electric Group, which is one of China’s biggest electrical equipment makers, and China Energy Engineering Corp, which is said to be working on 2,200 megawatts worth of coal-fired power capacity in countries such as Malawi and Vietnam.
China’s secretive push for the creation of all these big coal-fired power plants in countries that don’t even currently rely on coal that much, if at all, shows that firms are still fixated on profits without much care for the consequences to the environment. All of these things, which appear to be going on behind the scenes, so to speak, undermines China’s own efforts to increase renewable energy adoption. Ultimately, it’s the planet itself that will be affected negatively. And that will be a shame since everybody else is trying to work together to make things better.
Read more about environmental problems in Pollution.news.