"Thermal plants will have to use more efficient technologies -- but doing so will drive up both capital and operating expenditure," said Alasdair Wilson, co-author of the report. "We also expect water scarcity to continue driving the installation of wind and solar power in China," Wilson added.
Besides a water crisis, global warming and air pollution also provide some impetus for China to burn less coal. The nation now emits more climate-harmful gas than any other country, and it faces international pressure to cut emissions. In addition, China's rising middle class in recent years has begun calling for blue skies and cleaner air, and the government here has promised to do more -- with cleaning up power supplies as a major pollution-reduction measure.
China has already made huge investments to provide more clean power. Statistics from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show that in 2012, China accounted for one-quarter of world investment in renewable sources, spending $67.7 billion -- a 20 percent annual increase in a year when overall global investment declined.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500