Come winter, Beijing will experience its cold and smoggy days (again). We had already been warned by the met department last week of severe cold and pollution days to come. The city is taking steps to minimize the hazardous air pollution that disturbs the air quality index.
In July, the municipal development and reform commission had announced that Beijing’s plain areas would be free of coal-fired heating by 2020 as an effort to curb air pollution. According to Xinhua, six downtown districts of Beijing will get natural gas-fired heating this winter as part of anti-smog efforts. The districts are Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, and Shijingshan.
To address the air pollution, Beijing has closed its four major coal-fired power plants and replaced them with four gas-fired plants. The four gas-fired plants cost nearly ¥50 billion. Chaoyang is already undergoing a one-week trial period. The Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission and the Urban Management Commission informed that the gas-fired power plant of Chaoyang would officially begin its operation at the beginning of this year's heating period. The four major gas-fired thermoelectric centers are expected to cut down the city’s coal consumption by a total of 9.2 million tons annually.
By 2020, the city's coal-fired boilers for industrial and heating purposes will be converted to clean-energy ones, and gross coal consumption will be capped at 5 million tons. The proportion of high-quality energy consumption is expected to exceed 95-percent, with renewable energy over 8-percent of the city's total energy consumption by 2020.
Sources: Xinhua, China Daily
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