How much is 4.8 billion tons ? That is 600,000 110 car trains full of coal. The 110 cars each hold 100 tons of coal but about 25% of it is water weight. So only 8000 tons of coal per train which coal plants need every 1 to 3 days.
Coal is burnable dirt. The world is burning a literal mountain of it every year. It is so pollution because the burning converts it into CO2, particulates, smog and whatever else was mixed in with the dirt pile. If you burn 7 billion tons then if 1 part in 100,000 is mercury then that was 70,000 tons. If there was arsenic or flourine or whatever else there was hundreds to thousands to millions of tons of whatever it was.
The US can use less coal now because the US can get at cheaper burnable air. Natural gas.
China approved the construction of more than 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity in 2013 - six times more than a year earlier and equal to 10 percent of U.S. annual usage - flying in the face of plans to tackle choking air pollution. The scale of the increase, which only includes major mines, reflects Beijing's aim to put 860 million tonnes of new coal production capacity into operation over the five years to 2015, more than the entire annual output of India.
China's cities are choked with pollution. Some days getting up to 1000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter. About 9% of the level of the 12000 micrograms per cubic meter during the london fog of 1952, where peoples lips would turn blue and they would suffocate and collapse [12000 dead over a few days]. So China will make artificial rain from skyscrapers to bring the air pollution down for horrible to just very bad. Building the water spraying from most every skyscraper is a solution that is right up China's sweet spot. They get to build their way out and with hydro projects. They get to use all of the thousands of skyscrapers to help and developers will get some extra money. During the Beijing Olympics, China used cloud seeding to make it rain and reduce air pollution levels.
In terms of a prediction, I am absolutely certain that China will build water spraying systems from its skyscrapers and this will happen within 3 years in many cities. Some might say but what about the side effects. China will push ahead quickly and manage the problems. There current problems are causing massive health problems (300,000-500,000 dead each year) and unrest.
The largest cloud seeding system in the world is that of the People's Republic of China, which believes that it increases the amount of rain over several increasingly arid regions, including its capital city, Beijing, by firing silver iodide rockets into the sky where rain is desired. There is even political strife caused by neighboring regions that accuse each other of "stealing rain" using cloud seeding. About 24 countries currently practice weather modification operationally. China used cloud seeding in Beijing just before the 2008 Olympic Games in order to clear the air of pollution, but there are disputes regarding the Chinese claims. In February 2009, China also blasted iodide sticks over Beijing to artificially induce snowfall after four months of drought, and blasted iodide sticks over other areas of northern China to increase snowfall.
Many have talked about China having a big economic slowdown and slow growth.
China's government and China's people have too much burning desire to catch up to the developed world in per capita income.
There is a tight relationship between energy per person used and GDP per person.
China passed the US in total power usage in 2010. China uses more power to generate the same amount of wealth as the US.
China’s explosive demand for power, which will nearly triple to 15,000 TWh by 2030. This assumes power demand per unit of GDP to fall by half in just 17 years. If efficiency gains are not achieved then China's power demands will be even higher.
China adding 200 GW of wind power by 2020
China adding 100 GW of solar power by 2020
China adding 1000 TWh (another 500 GW) of hydro power by 2025
China adding 50 GW (400 TWh) of nuclear power by 2020 and probably another 100 GW (800 TWh) by 2030.
China adding natural gas as fast as they can.
It is all not enough. They still need more power to achieve their development goals. They will need to build more nuclear power and faster.
If they can ramp up solar and wind even more they will do it.
China trying to rebuild or clean up its coal plants.
China wants to have 25% of US per capita GDP by 2020 and 50-65% by 2030 and 100% before 2050.
China will by using over twice as much power as the US will be using in 2030.
China will be building the current level of US power every 5 to ten years or so.
China will try to fight back the deserts and green about 400,000 square miles of desert.
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