China has ordered 11 provinces to stop 101 coal-fired power projects, some of which are under construction, with a combined installed capacity of more than 100 GW and an investment around 430 billion yuan ($62.30 billion), Caixin reported on January 17.
In a document issued on January 14, the National Energy Administration (NEA) announced to suspend coal projects already under construction in some provinces and autonomous regions including Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi and other northwestern regions. These projects would no longer go ahead as part of measures outlined in the country's 13th Five Year Plan of Electricity Development.
According to the document, China committed to cap coal-fired capacity below 1,100 GW by 2020, however, the new builds would have taken that figure to 1250 GW, breaching the government-set limit.
Authorities asked provinces and multiples to stop approving coal plants back in March 2016, and in April implemented a "traffic light" approval system that shot down plans for 90% of upcoming plants. On September 23, 2016, the NEA suspended 15 coal-fired projects in nine provinces with combined capacity of 12.40 GW. In October, the NEA said it would postpone construction of some coal-fired plants that already had approvals.
On November 7, 2016, the National Development and Reform Commission and the NEA jointly released the 13th Five Year Plan of Electricity Development, in which the country vowed to reduce coal-fired installed capacity to 55% of the total by 2020. To achieve the commitment, China should scrap and postpone coal-fired projects with capacity totaling over 150 GW during 2016-2020.
(Writing by Evie Feng Editing by Harry Huo)
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