China is working to shut down many smaller units to replace them with fewer larger units to conserve energy and reduce emissions. The State Energy Bureau is targeting the shutdown of 13 gigawatts (GW) of small thermal power units this year. This could save the country 7.1 million metric tons of standard coal and reduce emissions of SO2 by 120,000 metric tons and CO2 by 14.2 million metric tons.
China's Power Industry has been developing quickly in recent years with achievements in structural adjustment, energy conservation and emissions reduction. At the end of 2007, the country's total installed capacity reached 713 GW with newly added capacity having doubled compared with five years before. China's hydropower capacity has reached 145 GW, ranking No. 1 in the world, and its thermal power capacity is ranked second.
The percentage of high-efficient coal-fired units with capacities of more than 300 MW has gone up from 43.39% in the beginning of 2003 to 58.9% in 2007. After smaller thermal power units were eliminated and fewer larger units were built, China's coal consumption for the past five years decreased 26 grams per kilowatt-hour.