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China to close outdated coal mines, boost clean energy in 2017

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-18 09:01

BEIJING - China plans to shut down at least 500 outdated coal mines and use more clean fuel in 2017, the country's top energy watchdog said Friday.

The closure of outdated coal mines should lead to a capacity reduction of 50 million tonnes, according to guidelines released by the National Energy Administration (NEA).

The guidelines targeted 3.65 billion tonnes of coal output for 2017, noting that coal should account for about 60 percent of China's total energy consumption. The proportion stood at 64 percent in 2015.

The world's largest coal producer and consumer is now committed to slashing coal capacity as excessive supply weighs on its economy and smog pollutes big cities.

Friday's guidelines also set goals of capping national energy consumption at around 4.4 billion tonnes of coal equivalent and reducing energy use per unit of GDP by 5 percent.

The NEA said the ratio of non-fossil energy use to the total consumption should rise to about 14.3 percent, up from 13.3 percent in 2016.

It specified plans to build more hydropower, wind power and solar power plants this year.

For nuclear power, 6.41 million kilowatts of installed capacity will be added through the completion of new projects, the NEA said.

The Chinese government aims to reduce the share of coal in the country's energy mix to 58 percent by 2020 and increase the share of non-fossil fuels to over 15 percent.

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