China will benefit the economy if it can successfully convert coal into renewable energy, according to the report. TransitionZero, a financial analysis company
The study looked at the costs or savings the Chinese government would have to pay if replacing existing coal plants with a zero-carbon alternative.
“What we found is that China could save $ 1.6 trillion by doing so,” said Matthew Gray, co-CEO of Asia Pacific. Says London-based company TransitionZero.
“There is a huge economic incentive for China to quit coal,”; he told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Thursday.
China has ‘a lot of work’ to do.
Gray said the first thing China had to do was stop investing in a new coal-fired power plant, noting it was a “Long-life assets” that may still be operational for the next 40 years.
“Anything built right now – if China achieves its net zero target – must shut down prematurely and is a congested asset risk issue,” he said.
According to the Global Energy Monitor (GEM), there are 1,082 coal-fired power plants operating in China. Additionally, 92 plants are under construction and 135 are in the pre-construction phase.
Solar panels cover Tiangang Lake in Suqian, Jiangsu Province, China, April 13, 2021.
Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
Gray pointed out that China It “already owns zero carbon technologies” such as electric cars, solar and battery storage, and said the country could expand that infrastructure to meet its zero emissions targets.
The “more relevant” issue is whether China is willing and able to end its coal plants? “They will have to shut down those coal plants by 2040 or soon after, and that will be a big challenge.” He said
The GEM report found that China hired 38.4 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants in 2020, more than offset by the 37.8 gigawatts it was retired in other parts of the world last year.
“There is still a lot of work that China will have to do,” said Gray, TransitionZero.