Figures from Huaneng Power International, one of China’s largest coal-based electricity producers, show a challenging year for coal as power generation fuel.
For 2012, the company reported a power generation decrease of 3.55% on 2011, with a total generated of 302.4 billion kWh.
The company says the decrease in power generation was mainly attributable to slower economic growth in the regions it serves; loss of market share of coal-fired power generation in certain regions as the coal fleet grew slower than the market; a rich supply of water for competing hydropower plants, in particular for Three Gorges, Yunnan and Guizhou hydro plants serving Guangdong Province; and long-term suspension of coal mines in Diandong due to accidents in the first quarter of 2012.
Huaneng is heavily dependent on coal, with 89% of its 48GW generation fleet coal-fired. By 2015, the company aims to increase its total generation capacity to 90GW, but growing the coal fleet at a slower rate than wind and hydro. By 2015, coal will account for 72%, while wind will increase to 6% and hydro will increase from virtually zero to 11%, or 10GW.