I am puzzled by Tan's claim that I misrpresent his views.
His Ecologist article claims: "The growth of [China's] electric power system – that underpins the entire modernisation and industrialisation of the country – is now being powered more by renewables than by fossil fuels.’" His own Figure 8 shows that this claim is incorrect, even including hydro; fossil edged out renewable power additions in 2013. If we take hydro out, which accounts for half of China's "renewable" power additions, Tan agrees with me in his Figure 7 that new China fossil additions in 2013 edged out modern renewables (wind and solar) by more than three fold.
Why take hydro out? The large scale hydro projects of the type China is building -- such as the Three Gorges Dam mega-complex, with their myriad ecological and social effects, and even greenhouse gas emissions (from impoundement methane) -- is hardly what people think of when they think of "renewables" and is not cause for celebration and is arguably unsustainable at current levels of scale-up. Nor does it represent some kind of new environmental or industrial policy commitment by the Chinese, as Tan implies; China hydro additions have been steady since the mid-1990's, not an era anyone asociates with environmental epiphanies by the Chinese leadership. By lumping the tail end of an older and ecologically insensitive large scale hydro building program in with modern renewables, Tan confuses the issue.
In any case, Tan misses the fundamental point of my blog, which was not to say that modern renewables are not being added to the China system in large numbers, which is a good thing, but that the fossil momentum is still substantial and will require serious attention to CCS. Notwithstanding that new renewables may be growing as a share of new power, fossil additions are projected to continue in absolute numbers. While the percentage of coal in the Chinese power mix may plateau in the 50% range by 2030, the absolute amount of coal power is projected to grow well beyond that time. And it is the actual coal carbon -- not percentages -- that will damage climate unless we apply a CCS solution.
I encourage interested readers to read my blog -- http://theenergycollective.com/armondcohen/330961/coal-renewables-and-china-headlines-and-bottom-lines -- rather than Tan's characterization of it.