Back in March, Beijing shut down its last coal-fired power plant. The move was all part of the capital’s recent efforts to reduce air pollution in the city. The next play in Beijing’s smog-fighting scheme is to substitute all that hazardous coal with natural gas.
This winter, six districts in downtown Beijing will be heated using natural gas, Xinhua reports. These districts include Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan.
A thermoelectric center located in Chaoyang is now undergoing a one-week trial. If all goes according to plan, the center will be used to fuel the area’s heating during the winter months.
Chaoyang’s thermoelectric center is just one of four natural gas-powered centers that were built to replace the now defunct coal-powered plants. Once the Chaoyang center is up and running Beijing will be able to cut its coal consumption by 9.2 million tons each year.
The burning of coal contributes significantly to Beijing's air pollution problem. Given that the capital's smog is predicted to be much worse than usual this winter, the move away from coal is welcome news.
[Image via AFP]