China breaks ground on largest coal cluster plant project in its history, equal in size to Three Gorges Dam

December 17 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Environment   Year: 2020   Rating: 1

Mongolian Coal Field

Everybody wants the world economy to move beyond coal, yet there are some brutal realities that are hard to avoid.

Coal, as an energy resource, is not going away.

In fact coal use is rising worldwide as demand for electricity increases!

No where on Earth is this more a reality of tomorrow than China.

What happened?
The People's Daily is reporting that on December 15th, construction began on the largest scale coal-electricity project cluster in China's energy construction history.

China has started simultaneous construction on eight coal power and chemical plants, and five mines to keep the plants operational.

China's Industrial Planning NDB site estimates that all the 8 power plants in it will form a thermal power generation base with a capacity up to 20,000 MW.  (Compared to the Three Gorges Damn capacity is 22,500 MW)

Do they have enough supply?   MiningNews reports that the Ningxia region has a proven coal reserves of 31 billion tonnes and potential reserve of 202.9 billion tonnes.   

Why is this important to the future of energy?

This is not a clean coal project! 

This is a massive project that will release a ton of carbon from ancient chemical bonds.

MIT's Technology Review has posted an article on China's efforts to advance 'clean coal' gasification with its GreenGen program, but it is not ready for prime time. 

So what do we do about coal's carbon?

We can devote all our energy to fighting claims over 'clean coal', or we can confront reality and develop carbon solutions that work and can scale, globally.

How do you do it?
From previous post

1) Think like an engineer
Sequester the carbon by pumping it underground 

2) Design new plants
Capture energy via 'gasification' (instead of combustion)

3) Think like a biologist
Retrofit coal plants with bioreactors that pull emissions into tanks of carbon-fixing algae and bacteria that bind carbon with hydrogen to form useful forms of energy (hydrocarbon chains biofuels)

Of the three carbon strategies, bioenergy (algae/bacteria) has the most potential as a 'game-changing' solution.  But it is also the hardest to talk about since systems are not tested commercially.


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Via Peoples Daily Alert

Chinese Government Site

Image Herwick Flickr CC License


Keywords: Coal, Algae,

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