(Yicai Global) Sept. 20 -- China will have built the world's largest clean and efficient coal power system by 2020, state-owned news agency Xinhua cited the Ministry of Environmental Protection as saying on Sept. 19.
By the end of June, China's coal-fired power plants had completed an ultra-low emissions transformation. Now, 570 million kilowatts, or around 60 percent of national installed coal-fired capacity, is produced with far fewer emissions. The bulk of the change took place in the east of the country, with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region making up a vast majority, Liu Bingjiang, director of the environmental ministry's Department of Air Environmental Management, said on Sept. 19.
The country's total installed capacity in coal and electricity is 2.4 times larger than in 2005, and the sector has become of the biggest sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emitters. The power industry has made the greatest contribution towards cutting emissions over the past decade or so, Liu said, and it has done a lot to improve air quality in China.
A report released by China Electricity Council shows the nation's coal-fired power plants are now fully equipped with air pollutant control devices. In 2016, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide levels produced by the country's coal and electricity industry were on par with an advanced level worldwide.
To maintain its pollution reduction efforts, China has formed the world's largest environmental protection industry segment. The number of key Chinese firms working on coal-to-electricity flue gas desulfurization, denaturation and dust-removal is up to around 100, said Yi Bin, vice chairman of the China Association of Environmental protection Industry. The country's coal-to-gas pollution control market was worth CNY49 billion (USD7.54 billion) last year.