Archive for ‘heating’


China Focus: China to ramp up efforts to provide better elderly care

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) — As China is faced with a growing aging population, the government has pledged to provide better elderly care services and facilities for the silver-haired, and give a strong boost to domestic demand.

Elderly care remains high on the agenda in this year’s government work report, which said that significant steps would be taken to develop elderly care, especially community elderly care services.

The number of people in China aged 60 and above reached 250 million by the end of 2018, accounting for 17.9 percent of the country’s population.

“Growing demand will trigger greater market potential in China’s senior care industry,” said Tang Wenxiang, founder of Fullcheer Group, a major elderly care services provider based in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province.

Fullcheer Group has 50 branches in more than 10 provinces and cities with a total of 5,000 beds. Tang expects the number of his company’s beds to increase to 50,000 in five years.

“There is still a huge gap between the demand of China’s aging population and the number of elder care facilities,” Tang said.

The country will provide support to institutions offering services in the community like day care, rehabilitation care, and assisted meal services and outdoor fitness services using measures such as tax and fee cuts and exemptions, funding support, and lower charges for water, electricity, gas and heating, according to the government work report.

Tang said government’s measures to develop elderly care services greatly boosted the confidence of entrepreneurs who run businesses in the sector.

Developing the elderly care industry is good for improving people’s well-being and stimulating consumption, said Xu Hongcai, an economist with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

“Consumption on elderly care requires the supply of the elder care market, offered by both the government and the market,” he said.

A research report issued by Guolian Securities suggests that a string of policies have been carried out in China to encourage the participation of the social sector in the senior care industry, which will boost the country’s consumption in the health and medical sectors.

As China opens this sector, foreign firms such as France’s Orpea and Japan’s Nichii have tapped the elderly service market in China.

China still lacks leading players in the senior care market which includes nursing care, rehabilitation assistive devices and daily necessities for seniors, Tang said.

The long-term care insurance system will help increase the occupancy rate of some elderly services facilities given a number of elderly people can hardly afford the expenses, according to Tang.

Source: Xinhua


China Focus: Geothermal heating helps build “smokeless cities” in China

SHIJIAZHUANG, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — As China seeks to curb air pollution and win the battle for blue skies, more Chinese cities have switched from coal to geothermal heating during this year’s winter heating season, as part of their efforts to become “smokeless cities.”

“My family has replaced coal-fired boiler with geothermal heating this year,” said Sun Shujuan, a villager in Xiongxian County, northern China’s Hebei Province. “Burning coal was dirty and tiring.”

Xiongxian, about 130 kilometers away from Beijing, is part of the Xiongan New Area, another new area of “national significance” established in April 2017 to facilitate the coordinated development of Beijing and the surrounding region.

The county began exploiting its rich geothermal resources, a clean and sustainable energy, in 2009. Now it provides geothermal heating to all its urban areas and is looking to expand in rural households.

“We have provided geothermal heating for about 6,000 households in Xiongxian’s 12 villages this year,” said Chen Menghui, deputy general manager of Sinopec Green Energy Geothermal Development Co., Ltd.

The company, established in 2006, is a joint venture between Arctic Green Energy Corporation of Iceland and Sinopec Star Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec), China’s largest geothermal developer.

“Compared with coal-fired boilers, geothermal heating can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least half,” Chen said. “It is estimated that we can replace over 10,000 tonnes of coal and cut emissions of more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide this year in Xiongxian.”

He added that the cost of geothermal heating is about half that of natural gas heating.

Xiongxian is one of the 10 Chinese cities where Sinopec has helped replace coal with geothermal energy, including cities in Shanxi, Shaanxi and Henan provinces.

The company now provides geothermal heating to an area of around 50 square km, and it aims to increase the area by 100 square km by 2023 and help build a total of 20 “smokeless cities” nationwide.

“Local governments are very willing to cooperate with us given the mounting pressure of environmental protection,” Chen said.

China aims to have clean energy replace 74 million tonnes of coal and generate 50 percent of winter heating in northern China by 2019, according to a plan released by Chinese government in 2017.

Rich in resources of geothermal energy, the country now has about 150 square km of geothermal energy heated areas, according to an international forum on geothermal energy held in Shanghai in November.

The areas that have access to geothermal heating or cooling are expected to reach 1,600 square km by 2020, according to a five-year plan for developing geothermal energy released by Chinese government in 2017.