China's ongoing efforts to close down small thermal power units will not hurt the country's power supply and economic development, a senior energy official said yesterday.
With the shut-down of small thermal power capacities, China has optimized its mix of installed thermal power capacity, and reduced emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases markedly, said Sun Qin, deputy administrator of the National Energy Administration (NEA).
The move, which China will continue to carry on, will contribute a lot to sustainable development of the power industry, said Sun.
China has closed down 7,467 small thermal power generation units nationwide by June 30, 2009, totaling 54,070 mW, the NEA said at a news conference yesterday.
This has achieved the 50,000 mW objective set by the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), and is one year and a half ahead of schedule.
The move helps reduce 1.06 million tons of SO2 emissions and cut 124 million tons of CO2 emissions each year, according to the NEA.
But currently there are still about 80,000 mW highly energy intensive and polluting thermal power units with single-unit capacity of 200 mW or below. Phasing out outdated small thermal power capacities remains a heavy and time consuming task.
The speed up in closing small coal-fired power plants is partly due to a drop in electricity demand because of the global financial crisis, said Sun. "Power generation has slowed down since last year, and we took this as an opportunity."
Coal-fired power plants have accounted for over 70 percent of the total installed capacity. The nation is expected to increase its power generating capacity by 80,000 mW this year, said to China Electricity Council.