June 18, 2020 / 4:22 AM / 2 months ago

CORRECTED-China to cap 2020 coal-fired power capacity at 1,100 GW

(Corrects paragraph 2 installed capacity to 1,040 GW, not 104 GW)

BEIJING, June 18 (Reuters) - China aims to cap coal-fired power capacity at 1,100 gigawatts (GW) and the number of coal mines at 5,000 by the end of 2020, the state planner said on Thursday, keeping up efforts to ease overcapacity in industry and boost consumption of clean energy.

The world’s top consumer of coal had 1,040 GW of installed coal-fired power capacity and 5,268 coal mines nationwide by 2019.

“(China) will eliminate outdated and unqualified coal-fired power units...(and) will approve new coal-fired power projects orderly and moderately based on needs,” the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.

Researchers had feared China might struggle to meet climate pledges this year as it turns to heavy industry and carbon-intensive projects to shore up its coronavirus-stricken economy.

China will continue to support renewable energy development providing that electricity generated from renewable sources could be absorbed by grids, the state planner added.

It aims for total installed capacity of 340 GW of conventional hydropower, with installed capacity of both wind and solar power to reach about 240 GW by the end of the year.

However, about 4% of the electricity generated by wind farms and 2% by solar stations did not connect to China’s grid last year, thanks to its insufficient power carrying capacity, data from the National Energy Administration (NEA) shows.

To push local grid firms to prioritise purchase of clean sources, the agency set quotas early this month for each province’s minimum consumption of renewable electricity in 2020. (Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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