China attempts to build a nationwide carbon market, providing an impetus to phase out coal power and achieve carbon neutral targets early. At present, China’s 4540 operating coal plants generate over 1,000 GW, about half of global coal power capacity, and generate 62% of China’s electricity, contributing over 40% to the nation’s energy-related CO2emissions. A team from China’s coal industry and academia has now investigated how carbon pricing will effect financial sustainability and lifetime change of each plant. They conclude that even with a low initial carbon price of 50 CN¥/tCO2 (6,7 €) growing at 4%/y and the permits being fully auctioned, the average residual lifetime of all the plants will be reduced by 5.43 years, and the cumulative CO2 emission from 2020 to 2050 will be reduced by 22.73 billion ton. With the carbon price further reaching 100 CN¥/tCO2, the operating coal plant stock is expected to be phased out 6 years earlier – along China’s pacific coast earlier than in China’s west.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102655