Coal-Fired Generation Overcapacity in China
China’s electricity sector is at the beginning of a paradigm shift from an industry characterized by very high growth to one more focused on economic efficiency and environmental performance. When evaluated with a focus on generation capacity, China’s existing coal-fired generation fleet at the end of 2014 is likely to be adequate to meet reliability needs until at least 2020, and likely beyond. As a result, continued expansion of coal-fired generation capacity poses a significant financial risk to China’s electricity industry. Developing a rigorous resource planning and generation approval process to mitigate this risk is thus an urgent priority. This discussion paper examines these issues and provides a detailed appendix including energy data in China and how conventions in China differ from those in the U.S.