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Beijing’s plains basically ‘coal-free’

Updated: Nov 2,2018 1:45 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The city of Beijing has basically gotten rid of coal use in its plains, the Beijing branch of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) said on No 1.

The metropolis of over 21 million people has promised to wean off coal use in favor of clean energy in its drive to improve air quality.

The SGCC said the coal-free status was achieved after this year’s coal-electricity transformation project was completed.

The company said since 2016, nearly 900,000 Beijing households have switched from coal to electricity for heating under the project.

The announcement was made on the eve of this year’s heating season, which used to bring smoggy days to northern Chinese cities including Beijing due to use of coal-fired boilers and stoves.

To clear up the air, China has been encouraging the use of natural gas and electricity instead of coal for winter heating.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng last month stressed the use of clean energy for winter heating in the country’s northern region. China should ensure that people in northern China will be kept warm and safe during winter while also making progress in improving air quality, Han said.

By the end of October 2018, a total of 3.62 million additional households in Beijing, Tianjin and 26 other cities in nearby regions will have had their coal-fired heating systems converted, according to an official plan released in September.