New Coal Power Report: Stranded Coal Power Assets Could Cost China 2.45 Trillion RMB by 2020



As part of the China Coal Cap Project's work to limit the overexpansion of China's coal power capacity, North China Electric Power University released a report on May 18 highlighting the potential magnitude of China's "stranded" coal assets. This report came out just as China's National Energy Administration released its latest evaluation of provincial coal power plant construction risk, giving 28 of China's 31 provinces "red light" or "orange light" risk levels, meaning that provincial authorities should stop approving new coal power plants in these provinces. This new report, titled, "Research on the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan Power Sector Coal Cap Policy," was presented by Professor Yuan Jiahai to the media. Based on the research team's analysis, coal power capacity should peak at 860 to 960 GW during the 2016-30 period. If the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan target of 1100 GW of coal power capacity by 2020 is reached, about 140 GW would be excess capacity. This means that the equivalent of 233 600-MW coal power units' assets and their derivative value would become stranded assets. Considering initial investment, tax and post-tax profit, the research estimated the total potential stranded assets value to be up to 2.45 trillion RMB. The report was covered by key Chinese media outlets including, China Coal News, China Energy News and others.