Coal powered industry in China

Climate change is a big issue today…as we are seeing more frequent storms and droughts, and natural disasters, due to humans’ influence on the environment. As China is building for more economic prosperity, the country continues to rely heavily on coal power, (80%), the BBC news article claims. The coal industry may help to relieve poverty, but other (more efficient, less damaging sources of power) may also help to relieve poverty, but they have to make that decision to switch. It is often difficult for developing countries to tackle poverty and at the same time use better technology (the technology is often expensive). Sometimes developing countries can do this, if they are resourceful or inventive. China does have the role model Sihe mine, in which methane is collected as coal is being mined, and it is diverted and used to power other stations. It’s kind of frightening, though, to think what will happen if such a large country (with a large population) developes the bad habits as Western countries, before they adopt less damaging technology. Does Garry Peterson have any thoughts on this or simulation models of what might happen, in terms of climate change?

3 Responses to “Coal powered industry in China”

  1. jennifer says:

    I’m no expert but from my own projections it’s not hard to see that the coal supply will not last forever. If China is planning to rely on coal for an indefinite amount of time it needs to realize that this plan wo’nt wokr! out and out simple: too many people + not enough coal = power supply failure soon.

  2. Some comments:

    There is enough coal to last for centuries.
    There has been a lot of work on what could happen to China in the future. Take a look at the SRES scenarios of the IPPC or the MA (released March 30, 2005).

    China has been having very rapid increases in the efficency with which it uses energy – however not rapid enough to make up for increased energy use (same as Canada).

  3. Ben Stone says:

    Well how long they gonna use it. Someday they will require an electric powered industry.