China Emerges as a Leader in Cleaner Coal Technology
While the United States is still debating whether to build a more efficient kind of coal-fired power plant that uses extremely hot steam, China has begun building such plants at a rate of one a month.
Construction has stalled in the United States on a new generation of low-pollution power plants that turn coal into a gas before burning it, although Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Thursday that the Obama administration might revive one power plant of this type. But China has already approved equipment purchases for just such a power plant, to be assembled soon in a muddy field here in Tianjin.
“The steps they’ve taken are probably as fast and as serious as anywhere in power-generation history,” said Hal Harvey, president of ClimateWorks, a group in San Francisco that helps finance projects to limit global warming.