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Coal boom is supposed to boost the economy

Endless trains are still transporting coal across the country: Workers shovel the coal flat before the train leaves the Huangling mine in Shaanxi.

It is a construction boom that is unimaginable by Western standards. In 2022, China started building a new coal-fired power plant every week on average: The construction of 50 gigawatts of new power plant capacity has commenced. In total, the authorities approved coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 106 gigawatts last year, about 100 large coal plants. A fourfold increase compared to 2021, according to a new study by the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) and the Centres for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). In the same period, only 4.1 gigawatts of power plant capacity were decommissioned.

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