As the world’s largest consumer of coal and leading CO2 emitter, China’s role in the international effort to combat climate change can hardly be overstated. The challenges China faces to control emission and pollution levels while meeting the country’s increasing energy demand are enormous. Over the years, China has made considerable efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and control pollution levels, and notable progress has been made through the implementation of ambitious programmes aimed at improving energy efficiency across a number of industrial sectors and a rapid development of renewable energy. This study reviews China’s policy and regulatory initiatives, in particular those aimed at improving energy efficiency of and reducing emissions from coal power generation, HELE upgrade of coal power plants, as well as the progress to date in reaching a series of ambitious goals. China’s rapid expansion of non-fossil energy which affects the structural change of the power sector and coal use in electricity generation, and therefore, CO2 emissions from coal-fired power generation is discussed.
China has also provided strong financing and policy support for the R&D of HELE technologies. China now possesses a range of HELE technologies that are applicable to new coal-fired power plants and to retrofitting the existing ones. They are described in this report. Finally, peak coal consumption and CO2 emissions from power generation from coal, in light of China’s economic and policy trends affecting the structure of the economy and coal consumption, are assessed.