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Greening China's power sector

The country has shut down domestic output but a shift to cleaner fuels will be a slow one. And its coal import needs are showing no signs of abating

Local residents no longer need to breathe its filthy fumes—but the closure of Beijing's last coal-fired power station has even greater significance for the country. China, the world's top coal producer, consumer and importer, is sticking to a pledge to cut its use of the black stuff by 11.8m tonnes by the end of 2017, compared with 2012 levels. It spells trouble for global coal markets, where China's sheer size as a consumer is often the key price mover. The Huaneng Beijing thermal plant is the last of four coal-fired power plants to close in the capital. Similarly to the other three plants, Huaneng Beijing will be replaced by a natural gas-powered facility. China plans to cap its coal co

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