In Shanxi province, in the north of China, coal is so abundant that in large areas it covers the surface of the ground. The total production capacity of the thousands of mines in Shanxi is 600 million tons a year, about a quarter of all coal mined in China and 10% of global coal production. The roads are literally filled with thousands of purple, blue and red trucks which load and unload their stuff at dozens of coal-fired power plants, steel factories and aluminium smelters all over the country.
China slowly cleaning up its act
China’s coal-driven economy has become the largest emitter of CO2 in the world. This is not about to change any time soon, though high prices, blackouts, mine-accidents and pollution all contribute to a drive towards cleaner alternatives, including cleaner coal technologies.