Posts tagged ‘coal fired power plants’


Chinese capital shuts third coal-fired plant in war on smog | Reuters

China’s smog-hit capital Beijing has shut down the third of its four coal-fired power plants as part of its campaign to cut pollution, with the final one scheduled to close next year, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

A security personnel walks near Tiananmen Gate on a heavily hazy day in Beijing October 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Jason Lee

In 2013, the city promised in its clean air action plan to bring annual coal consumption down to less than 10 million tonnes by 2017, a reduction of 13 million tonnes in just four years.

It said it would shut down all four of its coal-fired power plants within four years, a move that would cut annual coal consumption by around 9 million tonnes.

Officials also plan to reduce coal combustion in heating systems and industrial facilities, partly by switching to natural gas and by relocating some factories out of the city, and to phase out coal consumption completely by 2020.

A 400-megawatt facility owned by the Guohua Electric Power Co. Ltd was shut on Friday and replaced with a gas-fired plant. It followed the closure of a 93-year-old power station run by Beijing Jingneng Power on Thursday.

It shut its first coal-fired plant, the 600-MW Gaojing facility owned by the China Datang Corporation, last July.

Average levels of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 stood at 85.9 micrograms per cubic meters in 2014, down 4 percent compared with the previous year, but still far higher than the national air quality standard of 35 micrograms.

Beijing plans to bring readings down to 60 by 2017, the municipal environmental bureau said earlier this year.

Only eight of the 74 Chinese cities monitored by the Ministry of Environmental Protection met smog standards in 2014. Seven of the 10 worst-performing cities were in the province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing.

via Chinese capital shuts third coal-fired plant in war on smog | Reuters.


Rich Chinese Provinces ‘Outsource’ Pollution to Poor Ones

BusinessWeek: “A flurry of citizen-led protests against polluting (or proposed) chemical factories in Chinese cities has recently made headlines. And for good reason, as hundreds of peaceful marchers parading in front of government buildings and waving hand-made signs (such as “We Want to Survive” and “Say No to PX,” a hazardous chemical) isn’t something you see every day in authoritarian China.

The sun sets behind commercial buildings shrouded in haze in Shanghai

In recent years, such environmental demonstrations have erupted in the prosperous coastal cities of Xiamen, Dalian, Ningbo, and the southern city of Kunming. Middle-class citizens, wielding smartphones and sharing information about pollutants via social media, have organized the protests. When developers’ plans have been put on hold—as happened last month in Kunming—popular Chinese and Western media have declared a victory for nascent people power in China.

But what happens next? Chances are that factory plans won’t fizzle entirely, but rather that construction will move to another location—usually in a poorer province, with a less informed and media-savvy local population.

In a paper published in the June 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (pdf), researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Maryland, and University of Cambridge mapped the flow of goods, money, and interprovincial emissions to document what they call the “outsourcing” of pollution “within China.” Their study focused in particular on CO2 emissions, which spew from the same coal-fired power plants and other factories responsible for smog-causing domestic pollution.

As the researchers discovered, “the most affluent cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, and provinces such as Guangdong and Zhejiang, outsource more than 50% of the emissions related to the products they consume” to provinces in the central and western hinterlands. In short, eastern urbanites enjoy the fruits of energy, steel, cement, and other goods produced in China’s less-developed regions. (To be sure, Western consumers also benefit from goods produced in China, at an even greater distance from the pollution.)

“Although China is often seen as a homogeneous entity, it is a vast country with substantial regional variation in physical geography, economic development, infrastructure, population density, demographics, and lifestyles” the researchers wrote. One example: The carbon footprint of residents of Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin, three wealthy eastern cities, is four times higher than that of residents of Guangxi, Yunnan, and Guizhou, three poor southwestern provinces.”

via Rich Chinese Provinces ‘Outsource’ Pollution to Poor Ones – Businessweek.

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* Shanghai to spend $1.6b to curb air pollution

China Daily: “Shanghai will spend 10.3 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) on air pollution reduction over the next three years, local environmental protection authorities said Wednesday.

The amount represents a 40-percent increase over the amount spent over the last three years combined, the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection said in a statement.

Shanghai will also begin using the PM2.5 air quality standard in June, a much stricter standard than the PM10 standard currently in place. The PM2.5 standard applies to fine particles thatare believed to pose greater health risks than larger particles.

Local environmental protection authorities will help coal-fired power plants cut emissions and help coal-fired boilers find clean energy sources, the statement said.

In addition, the city will implement the tighter National 5 vehicle emission standard, equivalent to the Euro 5 emission standard applied to passenger and light vehicles in EU member countries,in 2013 or 2014, it said.”

Yet another piece of positive news about the environonment.

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