At one of its thermal coal power plants, China Energy Investment Corporation, a state-owned electricity producer, has begun a carbon capture project that will be the largest such facility in Asia.
According to a report in the official media source CCTV on Friday, the carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) facility at the Taizhou thermal coal power station would have an annual capacity to store 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).
China wants to employ more CCUS in its massive network of coal-fired power plants, which is expanding as electricity demand rises.
As demand for energy rises, notably from an expanding fleet of electric vehicles (EVs), analysts at ANZ Group warned earlier this year that China may have to rely more on coal to maintain stable networks this year.
“Power shortages are likely to reemerge as the acceleration in the energy transition continues to put pressure on electricity networks,” the analysts added.
China is now constructing or plans to construct 366 GW of new coal generating capacity, which will make up over 68% of all new coal capacity expected worldwide by 2022. Outside of China, coal generation capacity is declining, with 13.5 GW of capacity decommissioned in the United States last year and 2.2 GW in Europe, which has the highest rate of coal power plant retirement internationally.
China, the world's largest energy user, has said that it would strive to see its emissions peak by 2030, therefore one approach to reducing coal emissions is through carbon capture and storage.
As part of the solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put the globe on pace to meet the Paris Agreement objectives, CCUS is also gaining momentum in the UK and the US with significant government assistance over the past year.
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