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China Focus: China goes all out to pursue low-carbon growth

Date: 2022-01-04
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XI'AN, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Over a year ago, China declared to the world that it would strive to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Behind this solemn commitment, a wide-ranging and profound economic and social transformation has taken shape.

Various levels of government are adopting low-carbon policies tailored to local conditions, and industries are exploring their own green development paths, making concerted efforts to achieve the ambitious goals.

GREEN HEATING

It was a freezing midwinter day in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. Zhao Haiyan, 45, wore just a T-shirt and shorts at her home in Lintong, a suburban district of Xi'an as the temperature indoors reached 26 degrees Celsius.

Zhao lives in an affordable housing community of more than 400 households, which is equipped with Lintong's first zero-carbon and zero-emission clean energy heating project and the first 'geothermal+' new energy heating project. Residents were able to enjoy warm green winters as soon as they moved in back in 2018.

Home to the world-renowned terra-cotta warriors, Lintong and the surrounding area have rich geothermal resources. The geothermal heating technology applied in Zhao's community has been updated to prevent any polluting of underground water reserves, said Wang Chao, director of the Lintong New Area Management Committee.

Statistics of the Shaanxi provincial government show that more than 100,000 households in its central plain area have enjoyed green and clean heating services, and the number is expected to reach at least 600,000 over the next few years, reducing the annual emission of carbon dioxide by 3.6 million tonnes than heating by burning coal.

Utilizing green energy has also brought additional financial benefits. 'Based on the 70-square-km urban planning area of the Lintong New Area, comprehensive geothermal energy utilization is expected to create an annual income of about 8.7 billion yuan (about 1.37 billion U.S. dollars),' said Wang.

GREEN POWER

A 'Golden Triangle' of energy and chemical industries is located in the Muus Desert in northwest China, which accounts for 47 percent of the country's total fossil fuel reserves.

Thanks to years of sand control, photovoltaic power stations and windmills have sprung up in the desert over the years, and an electrical power system combining wind and solar energy has been established in the region.

Yulin City of Shaanxi Province is a core component of the triangle region. According to data of the State Grid Yulin Power Supply Company, as of Dec. 20, Yulin's new energy on-grid power consumption totaled 20.2 billion kWh this year, up 37 percent over the same period last year, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 15 million tonnes, sulfur dioxide by 10,100 tonnes, nitrogen oxides by 42,500 tonnes and dust by 4,900 tonnes.

The region is also making breakthroughs in the fields of carbon capture, energy storage and integrated emission management technology. The carbon dioxide capture and storage project constructed by the Guohua Jinneng Company of Guoneng Group is currently the largest post-combustion carbon dioxide capture project in China's coal-fired power plants. It was put into operation in Jinjie Industrial Park of Yulin in June.

Meanwhile, China continues to export green and low-carbon technologies to the world. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released the sixth batch of 'individual champions' in the manufacturing industry, which included the 'Blast Furnace Top Gas Recovery Turbine Unit' developed by Shaanxi Blower (Group) Co., Ltd.

This technology, referred to as TRT, converts useless residual pressure and heat, nitric acid tail gas, industrial waste gas and other waste materials into valuable mechanical energy, thus driving the generator to generate electricity. When applied in the industrial field, it can save costs and also realize green production.

'Taking the 5,000-cubic-meter blast furnace as an example, after installing the TRT device, about 28,000 kilowatts of residual heat and pressure energy can be recycled per hour,' said Li Xuefeng, a staff member of the company.

'At present, we have developed and produced more than 1,200 TRT devices, which are distributed in various projects in China and around the world. The total installed power is 21.5 GW, which can save 48 million tonnes of standard coal every year, equivalent to an annual carbon dioxide emission reduction of 125 million tonnes,' Li added.

GREEN LOGISTICS

Located in the Xi'an International Port Area, the 'Asia No. 1' intelligent industrial park of China's e-commerce giant JD.com is one of the largest intelligent logistics centers in northwest China, with a capacity to process over 500,000 orders daily.

Green and low-carbon infrastructure can be seen everywhere in the nearly 300,000-square-meter park. Roofs spanning some 100,000 square meters are equipped with photovoltaic power-generating equipment with a capacity of 9 MW.

From January to October this year, the facility generated 8,500 MWh of electricity, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 4,000 households in a year and a reduction of 5,670 tonnes of carbon emissions, said Xing Xiaoguang, head of warehousing in the park.

With the help of an intelligent control platform, the automated warehouse does not need to turn on any lights in operation, and the transmission device can automatically cut off power within 1 minute when there is no transmission task, said Xing.

The green trend has also extended to packaging. According to Wang Kai, who is in charge of the automated stereoscopic warehouse of the park, unlike commonly used cartons made of five-layer corrugated boards, they use three-layer models and ensure that each carton weighs no more than 400 grams.

'This alone can eliminate the use of more than 200,000 tonnes of paper pulp every year,' said Wang.

'We are constantly exploring paths to saving energy and reducing carbon in all aspects of our operations. We will make every effort to build the first 'carbon neutral' demonstration park in China's logistics industry in 2022,' said Xing. 


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