China plans to push forward clean energy use for heating in northern regions, to further reduce smoggy days in winter and improve the energy consumption mix, the top leadership said on Wednesday.
China Daily 22nd dec 2016 - read the article here
In the process, companies will play the major role, and governments will facilitate the clean energy expansion and help residents to accept the new heating source, according to the statement issued after a meeting on Wednesday of the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, presided over by President Xi Jinping.
The regions could choose gas or electricity based on their situations and increase the proportion of clean energy in the energy consumption mix, the statement said.
Xi highlighted the importance of expanded use of clean energy for heating in northern regions, saying it is closely linked to people's well-being, the reduction of smoggy days and improvement in energy production and consumption.
Smog has become an issue during winter, especially in the northern regions. Residents in more than 40 cities have breathed choking air since Friday.
Governments and researchers have reached a consensus that coal consumption is one of the major pollution sources in northern regions, especially in winter, when central heating is turned on between Nov 15 and March 15.
"The governments have taken steps to cut coal consumption, but the frequent smog hitting the northern regions indicates that they need to do more, including promoting clean energy," said He Kebin, head of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University.
Along with pushing forward the use of clean energy, the top leadership at the high-level financial meeting reviewed reports on five other prominent issues that have drawn wide attention: the progress of garbage classification in Zhejiang province; how to deal with waste from the rural livestock and poultry industry; improving services for the elderly population; regulating the property market; and food and drug safety.
President Xi said these issues are quite important for people's well-being. He added that in order to maintain economic growth, governments should solve the prominent issues for people unceasingly, which would facilitate the building of a well-off society and create more growth points.
December 22nd 2016 click here
After choking in haze for nearly a week, people in north China can now take a deep breath, at least until the smog returns.
The heavy smog that blanketed north China in the past week moved southward from Thursday morning thanks to a cold front, according to the National Meteorological Center. Residents in six provinces, including Henan and Hebei, Beijing and Tianjin, are expected to breathe clean air.
With smog dispersed, thick fog is set to envelop several provinces, including Hebei, Henan and Shandong, on Thursday morning.
Since Friday, vast regions in northern, central and eastern China have faced severe smog, dubbed the most serious since autumn in terms of area affected and severity.
The smog shrouded 1.88 million square kilometers, around one fifth of the country's territory, on Tuesday, and 90 cities reported heavy pollution that day, said the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
In Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, the Air Quality Index remained at or above the hazardous upper limit of 500 for 63 hour as of 8 am Wednesday. The reading at one monitoring station in the city exceeded 1,000 at 1 pm Monday.
Emergency measures were implemented in response to the hazardous level of pollution. Industrial production and construction sites were suspended, cars were ordered to run on alternate days, and kindergartens and schools were suspended in smog-hit areas.
The haze also disrupted public transport, with expressways closed and flights canceled due to poor visibility.
Some steelmakers in Hebei province have been blamed for emitting massive amounts of pollutants and resuming the operation after inspection teams sent by the Ministry of Environmental Protection left. The MEP has urged local governments to punish these enterprises and carry out corrective measures.
Vehicle exhaust plays a major role in large cities' air pollution, said experts.
Xie Shaodong, an environmental professor at Peking University, told Beijing Morning Post that the reasons behind smog differ among regions. In large cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, the exhaust of vehicles contribute the most to air pollution, while industrial production and energy sector also play important roles.
He Kebin, head of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University, said that the pollution level in Beijing has seen a drop over the last three years, with the average concentration of PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns, declining from 89.5 micrograms per cubic meters in 2013 to 69 micrograms per cubic meters so far this year.
The air quality is forecast to worsen again on Saturday, but conditions are set to improve on Monday, said the National Meteorological Center