May 25, 2014

China did not turn on some of the pollution control technology that was already built until recent air pollution protests. It adds over $16 billion/year to electricity prices

Cleaning up the air pollution from coal, still leaves the mining deaths, solid and liquid waste, and the transportation deaths. Plus the mitigation technologies increase the operating costs and lower the efficiency of the plants.

There are 84 different pollutants in coal pollution so there is a lot of different technology needed to control the air pollution

China continues to build a lot of coal plants and for the last 10-20 years China has built modern coal plants that have the latest pollution mitigation technology. Why did they not turn on pollution control until recent protests about air quality. It would have added over 0.4 US cents per kwh to the costs for one of the technologies and more for each of the other pollution control technologies. China is making about 4000 billion kwh/year of electrical power from coal power. So 0.4 cents per kwh is $16 billion/year.

A Planners Guide to Selecting Clean Coal Technologies is a World Bank book that covers the costs and issues for putting in coal plant pollution mitigation.

The cost to operate the ESP mitigation (power and plant operation effects is about 0.3-0.5 cents per kwh.) So coal plants electricity costs go up about 10%. This is for just one of pollution control technologies (but the most important in terms of preventing air pollution deaths because particulates are the most deadly. However, you still want to stop the smog and the ozone and the mercury and the 80 other pollutants.

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