Report: China coal-fired economy suffering from water scarcity

Good for Aussie, U.S. coal exporters. Prices going up.

Bloomberg reports:

“Water shortages will severely limit thermal power capacity additions,” said Charles Yonts, head of sustainable research at brokerage CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in Hong Kong. “You can’t reconcile targets for coal production in, say, Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia with their water targets.”

Coal industries and power stations use as much as 17 percent of China’s water, and almost all of the collieries are in the vast energy basin in the north that is also one of the country’s driest regions. By 2020 the government plans to boost coal-fired power by twice the total generating capacity of India.

About half of China’s rivers have dried up since 1990 and those that remain are mostly contaminated. Without enough water, coal can’t be mined, new power stations can’t run and the economy can’t grow. At least 80 percent of the nation’s coal comes from regions where the United Nations says water supplies are either “stressed” or in “absolute scarcity.”

4 thoughts on “Report: China coal-fired economy suffering from water scarcity”

  1. “claims the fraction of *water withdrawals* used in thermoelectric generation in the U.S. is 49%.”
    NOW tell us how much of that is put back into the source within a short time.
    Thanks
    JK

  2. I thought the number was too high and went for a look-see about the “coal industry” that they included in it. It does not seem to be contributing a whole lot.

    But the number itself may be true, if specified correctly, even without mining included. USGS claims the fraction of *water withdrawals* used in thermoelectric generation in the U.S. is 49%.

    http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/wupt.html

    But that is not 49% of “America’s water”. I suspect the 17% also relates to total withdrawals, not all of “China’s water”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.