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China to Speed Up Construction of Coal Power Plants This Year

Emissions rise from cooling towers at a coal-fired power station in Tongling, Anhui province.
Emissions rise from cooling towers at a coal-fired power station in Tongling, Anhui province.Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China is planning to accelerate construction of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants this year, even as massive investment in renewables means clean power will dominate generation capacity.

Some 70 gigawatts of fossil fuel capacity will be added in 2023, up from 40 gigawatts last year, according to a report released Thursday by the China Electricity Council, the power sector’s top lobbying group. The target comes as Beijing places more emphasis on energy security due to power shortages and volatile global fuel prices.