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Frontiers in Energy

Front. Energy    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (3) : 417-426
An overview of the development history and technical progress of China’s coal-fired power industry
Weiliang WANG(), Zheng LI, Junfu LYU, Hai ZHANG, Guangxi YUE, Weidou NI
Key Laboratory for Thermal Science and Power Engineering of Ministry of Education, Department of Energy and Power Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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As the main power source of China, coal-fired power industry has achieved a great progress in installed capacity, manufacturing technologies, thermal efficiency, as well as pollutant control during the past century. With the fast development of renewable energies, coal-fired power industry is experiencing a strategic transformation. To specify the development of coal-fired power industry, its development history is reviewed and the technical progresses on aspects of thermal efficiency, pollutants control and peaking shaving capacity are discussed. It is concluded that the role of China’s coal-fired power source would be transformed from the dominant position to a base position in power source structure. Considering the sustainable development of coal-fired power industry in energy conservation, emission control, and utilization of renewable energies, it is suggested that the national average thermal efficiency should be improved by continual up-gradation of units by using advanced technologies and eliminating outdated capacity. Moreover, the emission standard of air pollutants should not be stricter any more in coal-fired power industry. Furthermore, the huge amount of combined heat and power (CHP) coal-fired units should be operated in a decoupled way, so as to release more than 350 GW regulation capacity for the grid to accept more renewable energy power.

Keywords coal-fired power      development strategy      eliminating outdated capacity      peak shaving      emission reduction      renewable energy     
Corresponding Author(s): Weiliang WANG   
Online First Date: 24 April 2019    Issue Date: 04 September 2019
 Cite this article:   
Weiliang WANG,Zheng LI,Junfu LYU, et al. An overview of the development history and technical progress of China’s coal-fired power industry[J]. Front. Energy, 2019, 13(3): 417-426.
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Weiliang WANG
Zheng LI
Junfu LYU
Guangxi YUE
Weidou NI
Fig.1  Generation and capacity shares of thermal power units
Fig.2  Development of China’s installed power capacity during 1949–1978
Fig.3  Development of China’s installed power capacity in 1978–2002
Fig.4  Development of China’s installed power capacity in 2002–2017
Fig.5  Composition of China’s installed power capacity in 2017
Fig.6  Key indexes of China’s installed coal-fired power units
Fig.7  Emission standards of air pollutants for new installed coal-fired power plants
Fig.8  Development of CHP units in China
AUH Annual utilization hours/h
CHP Combined heat and power
DC Direct current
FLMB Full-load main-steam bypass
ICPC Installed coal-fired power capacity/TW
LHV Low heat value/kJ/kg
NCCR Net coal consumption rate/(g·kW1·h1)
SPCR Service power consumption rate/%
TRT Top gas recovery turbine units
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