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No more coal for 4 million homes this winter – China’s latest business and technology news

summary of the top news in Chinese business and technology for October 3, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.
2 weeks ago
Lucas Niewenhuis

Reuters reports that the sum of many local government initiatives to clean up air pollution, shut down bloated heavy industry, and improve energy infrastructure is that “almost 4 million homes in 28 cities” will experience their first coal-free winter this year. Cleaner-burning natural gas will become the heat source for those homes, as many cities historically dependent on the coal industry also shut down thousands of coal-fired industrial boilers. Caixin notes that one city known as China’s coal capital — Taiyuan, Shanxi Province — even “banned sales, transport and use of coal by most plants.”

The nationwide shift to natural gas is requiring tens of billions of yuan in investment in infrastructure and the subsidization of gas, as “gas costs almost double that of coal” and China will be reliant on gas imports. “Wood Mackenzie reckons the effort will add 10 billion cubic meters of gas demand this winter,” equivalent to about 5 percent of China’s consumption last year, or “the equivalent of Vietnam’s total annual use,” according to Reuters.

By Lucas Niewenhuis
Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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