[INFOGRAPHIC] Is China Crawling Toward Peak Coal?
China is pretty big.
I don’t mean geographically (although they have that going too). I’m referring to the population of China, which at the time of writing this numbered somewhere around 1.357 billion— roughly 19 percent of the total population of the world. And now that China has reached a standard of living on par with the Europe and the western world, the country’s per capita energy consumption has skyrocketed.
While the country’s energy consumption has been gradually increasing for decades, the sort of explosive growth that China has become known for really started in 2002 when the country consumed roughly 43.479 quadrillion Btu of energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 10 years later, that number rested at 105.882 quadrillion Btu— a 143.52 percent increase in a decade.
The fuel that China has utilized to supply a majority share of that energy has been coal, which is considered the dirtiest of the fossil fuel family. Luckily, the growth in coal-fired energy capacity in China has slowed somewhat thanks in part to increased utilization of renewable forms of energy.
To get a feeling for coal’s role in the Chinese energy mix— and whether the country could eventually see “peak coal”— energy analysis and consulting company Wood Mackenzie created the following infographic.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.