There is no clean, beautiful coal in Beijing anymore, to take from Donald Trump’s preferred way of describing the black rock used to power most of the world’s energy grid. Beijing has shuttered its last coal-fired power plant.
Years of deteriorating air quality have led the city on a mission to go green.
The Huangneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant, the last coal utility in operation in the city, was first brought on line in 1999. Beijing has over five million more people living it since, meaning more energy, more coal, more cars, and more health problems associated with pollution. It has five coal-fired power plants with a total installed capacity of 845,000 kilowatts. Du Chengzhang, the plant’s general manager, told Xinhua news agency on Sunday that the plant was “an efficient and environmental friendly plant with advanced emission treatment equipment.”
But after the suspension of the plant on Saturday, roughly 1.76 million tons of coal, 91 tons of sulfur dioxide and 285 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions a year will be cut, Xinhua reported.
The city has been busy building nuclear power plants. It is home to more nuclear power stations than anywhere in the world. And it has four new natural gas utilities in Beijing. The city has been closing down its coal fired electricity units since 2014.