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March 27, 2014 AT 5:22 AM
While use of coal for generating electricity has started to decline in the U.S., China continues to build coal power plants. With public anger at filthy air bubbling below the surface, and the costs of associated health effects more apparent, the country's government is well aware of the long-term costs. Two years ago, the Chinese government announced a plan to cap coal consumption through 2015--both to address air pollution and limit its imports of the commodity from Australia and elsewhere. China also raised its target for new solar installations this year to 14 gigawatts--higher than last year's 12 GW, and more than any nation has ever added in a year. Now, energy analysts are beginning to fear that investment in coal powerplants in China bears the hallmarks of a speculative boom that some call "the carbon bubble."