Although China has been increasing its production of wind and solar power, its demand for energy has also increased China’s consumption of coal.
Peabody Energy, the largest private coal mining company in the world, has been given the go-ahead by the Government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to develop a 50 million ton-per-year surface mine in Xinjiang, China, as of July 14ththis year. The new mine would be one of the largest surface mines in China.
According to Andrew Revkin’s article on the New York Time’s Dot Earth blog, China will begin using more than 2 billion tons of coal each year and increase capacity by 50 gigawatts just this year to a giant 600 gigawatts in 2035.
Although efficiency of coal plants in China are improving, emissions are not. The article continues to quote climate scientist Raymond Pierrehumbert in saying that “every tonne counts, and any tonne of carbon we keep out of the atmosphere is an improvement”.
To read the press release detailing the decision look here.