Burning Coal Drying Up North China

The world’s biggest coal consumer has new incentive to transition to clean energy, as China’s coal-fired power plants are drying up the country’s already scarce water resources, using 15 percent of the country’s total freshwater, much of it in the arid north, reports Coco Liu at ClimateWire via Scientific American. A recent report notes that retrofitting hundreds of gigawatts of coal-fired power plants with water-efficient solutions in the country’s dry north could cost billions of dollars. Most of China’s power generation capacity is located in water-scarce regions and 15 percent of this still relies on water-intensive technologies both for mining and burning. Simultaneously, the nation is becoming drier, especially up north, mostly due to, China acknowledges, climate change, caused mainly from coal burning. Thus, coal is delivering a double whammy to China. China’s total water reserves dropped 13 percent from 2000 to 2009, with the water shortage being particularly severe in the north. China is already a major investor in clean energy even as its rising middle class demands more clean air and water. As China gets drier, expect even more clean energy.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.


For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte



Water demands of coal-fired power drying up northern China. The world’s biggest coal consumer now has a new incentive to take a cleaner energy path, as China’s coal-fired power plants are drying up the country’s already scarce water resources. ClimateWire http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=water-demands-of-coal-fired-power-drying-up-northern-china

See also: China’s utility giants vulnerable to water scarcity, report says (via Yale e360)



About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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