China will cut or suspend subsidy for waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants that violate emission standards as part of its anti-pollution campaign, the country’s finance and environment ministries said late on Tuesday.
The move, effective July 1, aims at improving environmental levels at WTE power plants and mitigating public discontent with stench and the risk of toxic emissions, such as dioxins.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) rolled out new regulations last year forcing waste incinerators to reveal real-time emission and temperature data to the public, as well as to upload it to the environmental bureau monitoring system.
The government will cut or even suspend the subsidy for WTE power generators that are found not revealing emission data, forging the data, or not reaching the standards, according to the joint statement on Tuesday.
China plans to build waste incineration handling capacity of 591,400 tonnes per day by 2020.
At the end of 2019, China had installed WTE power generation capacity of 12.02 gigawatts (GW) and daily incineration capacity of 490,000 tonnes.
According to China’s Biomass Energy Association, the country is expected to add 2.9 GW WTE power generation capacity in 2020, requiring a subsidy of about 11.1 billion yuan (US$1.57 billion).
However, Beijing has been striving to curtail financial supports to renewable power sources in order to ease a backlog of subsidy payment exceeding 223 billion yuan, which may shadow the development of WTE projects in the pipeline.