Our report, Implications of Continued Coal Builds in the 14th Five-Year Plan of China, finds that China’s total installed coal power capacity is likely to continue to grow during the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) period (2021-2025), which will exacerbate financial strains within the coal sector itself by lowering all coal plants’ utilization. Such growth will also create negative outcomes for China’s long-term economic and social development.
Based on plant-level data, the report shows that a total of 151 GW of new coal-fired power projects are likely to be implemented during the 14th FYP, and China’s total installed coal capacity will potentially reach over 1200 GW by 2025, indicating a 15% increase from today’s level. Meanwhile, coal plants’ utilization will likely continue to decline, from 4,293 hours (below 50% of capacity) today to 3,840 hours (below 45% of capacity) in 2025. As over half of China’s existing coal plants are already operating at a loss, lower utilization will further undermine the performance and financial viability of the entire coal industry.