Burn more low-quality coal, power plants urged
Wang Yuesi, a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said he does not think such a move will ease air pollution.
“Instead of leaving the good-quality coal to the small and medium-sized enterprises and consuming brown coal themselves, it seems a better idea for the large State-owned power plants to offer technological support to help those small companies reduce their emissions,” Wang said.
He said the problem does not lie in the amount or type of coal being burned, but in weak environmental protection enforcement, which, in his view, should be much tougher than foreign countries’ standards, given China’s situation.
The study said China’s power sector has increased efforts to cut pollutants and carbon emissions in recent years.
With an increase of more than 7 percent in the overall installed capacity compared with the previous year, total sulfur dioxide emissions were reduced by 3.3 percent, it said. But sulfur dioxide emissions from this sector still accounted for almost 42 percent of the country’s total emissions in 2012.
“The effect of emissions from the power industry on air quality is still relatively large, but it is gradually being reduced on a yearly basis,” said Dan J. Dudek, vice-president of the China office at the Environmental Defense Fund. Contact the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com