Market forces could be used to clean up power plants in China by encouraging the use of cleaner burning coas. We need China to clean up its power sector if we want to make a real dent in global Carbon emissions. On CARMA, you can see the best publicly available data on the Chinese power sector’s emissions. There are over are 2,162 plants, emitting 3.12 billion tons of CO2.
New market pressures encourage plant managers to buy the cheapest, lowest quality and most-polluting coal available, while at the same time idle expensive-to-operate smokestack scrubbers or other cleanup technologies. The physical infrastructure is advanced, but the emissions performance ends up decidedly retrograde.