This report seeks to assess the cost to the Chinese government, in terms of subsidies, of operating and investing in coal-fired electricity generators, the predominant source of electricity in China.
We find that the value of the subsidies to coal-fired generation was at least CNY 252 billion (USD 37.7 billion) in 2014 and CNY 120 billion (USD 18 billion) in 2015.
Subsidies provide an advantage to coal generation over other technologies. The 2016 G20 subsidy peer review was a major step towards transparency, particularly for oil and gas subsidies. However, it did not include an analysis of the subsidies to coal-fired electricity generators. It is recommended that policy-makers expand the scope of the subsidy review processes to include the subsidies described here.