(Yicai Global) Dec. 5 -- China will renovate northern China's central heating system over the next five years so that non-coal sources provide 50 percent of network capacity, as part of plans to replace 150 million tons of coal used annually.
The National Development and Reform Commission and National Energy Administration (NEA) will release a five-year plan to renovate the winter heating system, replacing 74 million tons of coal used three years after implementation and 150 million tons five years later, China Energy News reported yesterday.
The renovation work will increase the proportion of non-coal sources such as gas, electricity and geothermal from 17 percent of total heating at present to 50 percent.
Demand for heating supply in northern China covers over 700 million people in 17 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, and the country's total heating area will reach 12.9 billion square-meters by 2020, the report said.
Current challenges facing heating supply in northern China include a lack of structural diversity, inefficient use of energy and unbalanced regional development. Rural-urban fringe zones and vast rural areas use coal-fired heating, consuming around 200 million tons of standard coal annually, accounting for nearly half of all coal used for heating, said an NEA official.
Northern China has been plagued by smoggy weather in recent years, due to air pollution, especially during winter when heating is supplied.