Shanxi to push sustainable development through energy reform


By Hu Jian, Zhou Yajun, People’s Daily

North China’s Shanxi province has launched a set of revolutionary, exemplary and landmark measures to improve its energy sector, an official said at the 2019 Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum held in Taiyuan, capital of the province from Oct. 22 to 24.

These measures aim to build Shanxi into a green coal development and utilization base, an unconventional gas base, a power delivery base, a modern coal chemical industry demonstration base, and a coal-based scientific and technological innovation base, said Luo Huining, Secretary of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Themed “Energy Revolution, International Cooperation”, the forum attracted 830 guests and energy experts from 204 delegations at home and abroad. Shanxi strives to build the forum into an influential and authoritative energy platform for conducting high-level dialogues, launching scientific and technological achievements and contributing to international cooperation in the energy sector.

At the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit held at the UN headquarters in New York, energy was recognized as one of the specific solutions that link up and have impact across all 17 SDGs, said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, in his speech at the forum.

The summit regarded energy decarbonization with universal access as one of the 6 entry points to accelerate achievement across many SDGs and targets, Liu added.

As an important and comprehensive energy base and industrial base in China, Shanxi has committed to cutting excess capacity, developing competitive capacity and following green, efficient and low-carbon development of the coal industry. The proportion of competitive capacity has reached 68 percent from 36 percent in 2016.

In the first half of 2019, the installed new energy capacity in Shanxi was over 30 percent of the province’s total installed electricity capacity. The output of coal seam gas exceeded 90 percent of the country’s total.

The installed renewable power capacity accounted for over 30 percent of the energy power capacity of the province as a whole, and photovoltaic generation capacity under the Chinese Photovoltaic Top Runner Program ranked first in the country.

Focusing on improving energy efficiency, Shanxi Coking Coal Group, China’s largest coking coal company, has established the country’s first 10 million-ton large-scale coking coal storage and distribution base alongside the Rizhao port in east China’s Shandong province to better allocate domestic and international coking coal resources.

The company has also conducted project cooperation with Georgia, Russia and other countries along the Belt and Road.

Located in the revolutionary base areas in southeast Shanxi, Lucheng Economic and Technological Development Zone is the first of its kind in the province where private enterprises play a leading role. Recently, the market-based development zone embraced a project about the drawing of 100,000-ton new material, namely nylon-6 fibers.

From coal to coke and then to caprolactam, the industrial chain has been extended from raw materials to fuel and new materials, greatly increasing the output value from the hundred-yuan level to thousand-yuan and ten thousand-yuan level, said Han Chang’an, president of Lubao Coking Group, a leading private company in Shanxi.

Assuming the principal responsibility for energy reform, the CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee and the provincial government have straightened out the relationship between the government and the market and improved business environment, thus boosting the enthusiasm for reform and development in the province, Han added.

China enjoys a really huge hydrogen energy market, said a staff at the exhibition stand of Air Liquide Group, a French industrial gas producer, in the Energy Revolution Exhibition of the forum.

According to reliable sources, Shanxi Provincial Guoxin Energy Development Group has cooperated with Air Liquide Group to develop hydrogen energy and biomass energy, while Lu’an Group based in Changzhi, southeast of Shanxi, and Air Products, a world-leading industrial gases company in the United States, have conducted cooperation in clean use of sulphur coal.

Shanxi is rich in coal-to-hydrogen resources and is very likely to become a demonstration area for China to promote a low carbon and hydrogen economy by improving existing technologies for recycling carbon dioxide and effectively using renewable energy, said Tohmei Takekawa, president of Japan’s Global Consortium for Energy and Environment and CEO of CMI Corporation.