The last large coal-fired power plant in Beijing has suspended its operations on March 18, meaning that the capital has become China's first city to have all of its power plants fueled by clean energy.
"This is a historic moment, because we now bid farewell to all coal-fired power generation plants in Beijing," said Cai Qi, the city’s mayor, as he visited the power plant owned by Huaneng Group.
"Replacing coal with clean energy not only deals with air pollution but is also a requirement of the company's transformation," said Cai, adding that the new power plant, which is under construction and will start operating soon, will use natural gas.
The shutdown of the plant will cut coal consumption by 1.76 million tons a year, and reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 91 tons, oxynitride emissions by 285 tons and dust by 110 tons.
According to Beijing's Clean Air Action Plan (2013-2017), the total coal consumption should be 13 million tons less by the end of this year, compared with 2012.
The plan also says that the city will build four gas thermal power centers and shut down the four large coal-fueled thermal power plants during that period. Three of the four gas thermal power centers have already been built and are in operation.