China Closing Pollution-Emitting Small Thermal Power Plants

China will be shutting down 50-gigawatts of small thermal power plants, 10 GW in 2007, according to Industrial Info Resources.

In order to control its severe pollution problems, China will be closing 50-gigawatts (GW) of small thermal power plants, and 10 GW in 2007, according to research released Monday by Industrial Info Resources.

The closings are in response to recent policies issued by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to promote energy savings and reduce emissions. By the end of 2006, China’s total installed capacity was at 622 GW.

However, thermal power plants generate 72 percent of China's total electricity and hydropower plants generate 25 percent, while power houses using other energy sources, including nuclear power, only produce about 3 percent, the research indicates.

Among these thermal power plants, there are about 100 GW of units with capacity less than 100 MW, leading to China having too many small thermal power plants responsible for an over consumption of coal and contributing to excessive pollution.

To curb pollution emissions, any new coal power plants that are built in China must have desulfurization scrubbers installed with the main generating unit. For coal power plants that are now operating, 65 GW of units must be built with desulfurization scrubbers to form a desulfurization capacity of approximately 2.2 million tons, Industrial Info reports. Any power plants with desulfurization scrubbers out of operation without reason will be subject to an electricity tariff and punishment.

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