China Builds Fleet of Coal Plants to Power EVs

Posted by Ed 58 days ago
China is building an enormous coal-fired fleet—more than the entire generating fleet of the United States from all sources, despite no demonstrated need for the power and despite calling for a zero-carbon economy by 2060.
But China’s auto sales are beginning to skyrocket again despite the coronavirus pandemic and China is pushing what it calls new-energy vehicles—electric vehicles, fuel cell cars, and plug-in hybrids—which get special treatment from the Chinese government, including easy registration and no lottery as required for internal combustion engines in large cities.
In Shanghai, for example, it costs $13,000 for a license plate for a vehicle with a combustion engine whereas registration plates are free for electric vehicles. According to Elon Musk, an all-electric vehicle fleet worldwide will double the global demand for electricity.  
China plans to build 250 gigawatts of coal-fired generating capacity to add to its current coal-fired fleet of over 1,000 gigawatts.
These units can easily operate efficiently for 40 to 60 years. Given China’s interest in developing an electric vehicle manufacturing industry and the increase in electricity demand that will result from an all-electric fleet, China may well need these coal-fired units to satisfy that increasing demand, which may, in turn, negate its proposal of being carbon-free by 2060.
China is well-poised to become a major electric vehicle manufacturing center, since it dominates the supply chain for minerals critical to modern technology, including electric vehicles. 

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