As the main power source of China, coal-fired power industry has achieved a great progress in installed capacity, manufacturing technologies, thermal efficiency, as well as pollutant control during the past century. With the fast development of renewable energies, coal-fired power industry is experiencing a strategic transformation. To specify the development of coal-fired power industry, its development history is reviewed and the technical progresses on aspects of thermal efficiency, pollutants control and peaking shaving capacity are discussed. It is concluded that the role of China’s coal-fired power source would be transformed from the dominant position to a base position in power source structure. Considering the sustainable development of coal-fired power industry in energy conservation, emission control, and utilization of renewable energies, it is suggested that the national average thermal efficiency should be improved by continual up-gradation of units by using advanced technologies and eliminating outdated capacity. Moreover, the emission standard of air pollutants should not be stricter any more in coal-fired power industry. Furthermore, the huge amount of combined heat and power (CHP) coal-fired units should be operated in a decoupled way, so as to release more than 350 GW regulation capacity for the grid to accept more renewable energy power.