After being outed earlier this year as burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined, China are taking a proactive approach to cutting down on their coal usage, according to new reports.
As many other countries aim to ‘kick their coal habit’, China has seen their usage of fossil fuels increase over the last decade to cope with the global financial slowdown – growing from 1.5bn tonnes in 2000 to over 3.8bn at the end 2012 according to figures from the International Energy Agency. Now, just months after the report, China could be set to take dramatic action against the amount of coal burnt to provide commercial energy for some of it’s most heavily-industrialised regions – according to insiders.
As the level of air pollution continues to become an issue in some of the country’s mossy heavily-populated regions, policy discussions seem to have led to an agreement that could potentially cut coal usage by up to 100 million tonnes a year by 2015.
By targeting the northern region of the country – spanning Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin – policy makers are hoping to cut a dramatic amount of coal from the energy economy. The reason? Commercial energy for the steel regions that can burn up to 300 million tonnes a year.
Jiang Kejun, a senior researcher at the Energy Research Institute, said “These targets should be included in the plan, but we are actually still in the process of setting the precise numbers – it isn’t a particularly easy thing to do,” said Jiang, who is involved in drawing up the policies.”
As well as growing concerns from the global economy, China faces an internal motivation to cut down it’s reliance on coal; protests. Demonstrations have been growing in number as air quality deteriorates in cities like Beijing, and citizens are doing their part to make coal a major part of the government’s agenda.
As well as the world’s number one user of coal, China were conversely awarded the title of the energy that has invested the most in clean energy research and solutions over the past twelve months. Given that it’s industries could soon be relying on something other than coal for commercial energy, it now seems as though that was money well spent.
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