Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an will say good-bye to coal as a major fossil fuel that gives rise to air pollution by sulfur dioxide and acid rain.
China worked out a plan to demarcate areas for the control of acid rain and sulfur dioxide and control targets and steps in 1998. The concentration of sulfur dioxide in such areas slipped in 2000 as compared with 1997. Those cities that were up to the state-prescribed second class standards for sulfur dioxide concentration rose from 82 to 118 and the spread of acid rains had been brought under control. Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an set up areas where coal burning is forbidden to cut urban coal consumption. Some others formulated standards to restrict the content of sulfur in coal in use and encouraged the use of clean energy.
China has readjusted its energy structure and raised the proportion of clean energy in use. Of the total output of primary energy, the proportion of oil and natural gas rose from 19% and 2% in 1990 to 21.4% and 3.4% in 2000. The consumption of coal waned from 76.2% to 68% in the period.
China has tapped recoverable energy resources and clean energy. There were 8.5 million farming households that used marsh gas, with an annual output of 2.59 billion cubic meters in 2000. Marsh gas pools disposing urban sewage in small towns totaled 84,000 with an annual disposal capacity of 280 million tons. 388 centralized gas supply centers using crop stalks as the raw materials had been set up with a supply of 150 million cubic meters of gas. By the end of 2000, there had been 25 wind-driven electrical power plants with a total designed capacity of 350,000kw. More than 170,000 small wind-driven electrical power generators were in use across the country.
(www.cenews.com.cn September 2, 2002)