From a climate perspective, the ideal scenario would be for China to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants and switch over to clean energy like solar. But that can’t happen — China’s energy economy is like a massive ship that cannot turn on a dime.
China is going green, however, just not the way you think. China signed the Paris Agreement, which includes a promise to install 800 gigawatts to 1,000 gigawatts of new renewable capacity by 2030, an amount equivalent to the capacity of the entire U.S. electricity system.
China and the United States have roughly the same land mass; however, China has 1.3 billion people to the United States’ 325 million. It needs an electricity system that is much larger, so adding the renewable equivalent of one entire U.S. electricity system is not enough to replace coal in the near to medium term — not even close.
To bridge the gap, China is rolling out new technologies to drastically reduce local air pollution and climate emissions from the nation’s remaining coal plants as well as building a host of new ones.
Source: Energy & Capital - https://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/china-s-new-green-deal/92837