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China urges miners to increase high-grade coal supplies for heating

December 27, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

Oh, the joys of central planning!

 

 

From Reuters:

 

 

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China has urged coal miners to increase high-grade coal supplies to ensure heating fuel for winter, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on Tuesday.


The statement comes after the central government scaled back its plan earlier this month to convert northern cities to natural gas from coal for heating, because provinces across China had warned of gas shortages.

The NDRC asked miners to put more high-grade coal projects into operation “as soon as possible”.

Coal-fired power plants are also encouraged to increase their thermal coal stockpiles and upgrade their equipment to reduce emissions.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pollution-coal/china-urges-miners-to-increase-high-grade-coal-supplies-for-heating-idUSKBN1EK0FU

The Guardian also reported on the problems in China earlier this month:

While middle class Beijingers breathe the cleanest air in recent winters, in Zhuozhou, a small city 20 minutes by train from Beijing’s downtown, residents are shivering through cold nights without heating. The reason: a five-year anti-pollution drive has forced rural areas in northern China to switch from dirty coal to the cleaner alternative. The massive retrofitting campaign has sent gas prices soaring while many are left without heating systems at all.

In two villages close to Zhuozhou’s high-speed railway station, on the city’s eastern edge, villagers estimate only about one third of homes have been connected with natural gas supply, while others say they are still anxiously waiting for the gas company to install furnaces. Their old-fashioned coal stoves were all demolished as the government intensified efforts to phase out coal use in rural homes.

As temperatures drop to about -6C, they say nights are “increasingly unbearable”, especially for seniors and toddlers. A street cleaner said he had to burn firewood to keep warm. “It is very cold, but there’s nothing we can do except wait,” said one mother who was reluctant to be named.

 


 

Urban residents of Zhuozhou are more vocal about their grievances, as the sudden increase in natural gas demand means disruption in supply for existing users. “Every day from 7pm to early next morning, there’s no heating. Sometimes the gas supply is not stable when cooking,” said a taxi driver who gave his surname as Feng.

Hebei provincial government, which administers Zhuozhou, issued an orange alert for natural gas supply on 28 November. It is the second on a four-tier warning system, indicating a demand-supply gap between 10% and 20% that will have a “relatively big impact” on economic and social operation.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/04/poor-bear-brunt-beijing-coal-cleanup-with-no-heating-at—6c

 

 

I do have a lot of sympathy for both the Chinese people and government, as there are no easy answers to any of this. But it does show that you cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater, where energy is concerned.

Strangely, the Guardian did not mention the benefits that all of the supposed investment in wind and solar was bringing. Surely the Chinese have no need for gas or coal?

7 Comments
  1. December 27, 2017 11:49 am

    Coal-based electric generation can be very ‘clean’ with scrubbers installed to remove almost all the pollutants. The CO2 output is the same, but CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 doesn’t degrade air quality in terms of human health at all.

    The sensible way to control air pollution around Beijing is increase the generation and use of electricity using the nation’s coal supplies. The Chinese are already technically saavy concerning point-source control of the pollutants at generating stations. Let the gas distribution system grow at a more sustainable rate, don’t use unreasonable force in the market because it creates more problems than it solves. (as the article demonstrates) Beijing is where London and Pittsburgh were 70, 80 years ago. They can get ahead of their problem and they can do it quickly. But they can’t do it in a couple of seasons. It will take more than 24 months.

  2. December 27, 2017 11:57 am

    While China improves its air quality, nothing at all to do with AGW, the decadent West goes in the opposite direction, in the name of “saving the planet”. The West probably had its cleanest environment around 15 years ago, coal and nuclear providing electricity for heating and cooking, together with natural gas, and mostly petrol driven cars. Now the West is littered with wind turbines, and worsening air quality caused by diesel cars and biomass burning.

  3. Joe Public permalink
    December 27, 2017 12:18 pm

    “Strangely, the Guardian did not mention the benefits that all of the supposed investment in wind and solar was bringing.”

    *Cough*

  4. Felipe Grey permalink
    December 27, 2017 12:32 pm

    @paul homewood. Have a look at No 28 here. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/50-big-ideas-2018-chip-cutter/?trk=eml-email_feed_ecosystem_digest_01-hero-0-null&midToken=AQGjv1s8Zc6MIQ&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=106uY883hd8841. Then we also have No. 31. Gotta laugh.

  5. December 27, 2017 1:03 pm

    Even the Chinese can’t alter the fact that solar power is close to useless in winter.

    Russian gas supplies are due in 2018.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27503017

  6. Tregonsee permalink
    December 27, 2017 1:43 pm

    China, Germany, Australia, and many others are areas of significantly deteriorating quality of life, at the survival level, due to blindly following Green mandates. Not a word in any major media.

  7. December 27, 2017 4:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    RATHER telling when the likes of the Guardian lambasts China’s absurd move to ramp up coal-fired power to ensure the wellbeing of their most vulnerable, demonising “dirty” (lifesaving) coal without a single mention of unreliables to stop the supposed rot. Cowards.

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