Small power plants told to lower tariffs
The mainland, the world's second-largest energy consumer, will widen rate reductions on electricity generated by small coal-fired power plants to boost energy efficiency and cut pollution.
Small coal-burning power plants in six areas - Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Zhejiang, Shanghai and Sichuan - were ordered to lower their tariffs on on-grid power prices in their service areas, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, said in an online statement.
The tariff cut would apply to 90 units with a combined capacity of 3,470 megawatts in those areas, the NDRC said.
The latest move is the second tariff cut on small coal-fired power plants in two months.
The NDRC in August ordered coal-fired power plants in Beijing, Henan, Jiangxi, Hunan, Yunnan and Guangxi to cut tariffs gradually to the same level of average on-grid power prices in their service areas.
The first batch of affected power plants included 32 units with a combined capacity of 1,170 MW.
The mainland aims to shut a total of 50,000 MW of small coal and fuel oil-burning generating plants, about 8 per cent of the country's total, by 2010.
Coal-powered plants with a capacity of less than 50 MW will have to close by 2010, as will 100 MW generators that have been in operation for 20 years or more.
Those small and older generators tend to consume more coal and emit more sulphur dioxide.
Some 8,300 MW of small thermal units were closed between 2001 and 2005.
For every 300 MW a power firm wants to build, it needs to close 240 MW of capacity. But for larger, more efficient new stations, the requirement is 420 MW for a new 600 MW station, and just 600 MW for a 1,000 MW generator.
End of the line
Coal-fired power plants with a capacity of less than 50 MW will have to close by: 2010