Shanghai is to get rid of more than 2,500 highly polluting coal-fired boilers by 2015 as part of its efforts to improve the city's air quality.
Shanghai is to get rid of more than 2,500 highly polluting coal-fired boilers by 2015 as part of its efforts to improve the city's air quality. [File photo]
The government is providing subsidies for replacement boilers and will arrange technical support from energy companies, the Shanghai Economy and Information Technology Commission said yesterday.
Coal burning is a leading cause of smog, acid rain and air pollution.
Boilers are the core part of a power plant, providing steam to drive large turbines. Boilers are also used to power or heat industrial complexes and other buildings.
One option is to retrofit the boilers so they can be fired by natural gas. Shanghai is also studying the use of electric boilers in areas not served by natural gas pipelines.
Generating steam using electricity is more expensive than natural gas but cheaper off-peak electricity can be used to lower the costs, said Yuan Qinghai, deputy chief engineer of the commission.
"We already have some electric boilers installed and the effect is very good," he said yesterday. "The Shanghai power company is studying a detailed tariff plan to make electric boilers more affordable."
A detailed closure or replacement plan for coal-fired boilers will be delivered to districts and companies on June 15, the start of the annual National Energy Conservation Promotion Week .
Authorities will also call on residents to ensure their air conditioners are cleaned, a move that could potentially save 2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, about 1.5 percent of Shanghai's total power consumption last year.