China's coal mining province leads the nation's energy revolution
Zhao Yuheng, Wang Peng
Shanxi Province in Northern China is known for its rich coal deposit and huge coal production. A quarter of China's coal is mined in Shanxi and two-thirds of China's provinces burn coals from Shanxi province. But as China moves towards green energy, the province is trying to shake its reliance on coal production.
According to government data, Shanxi Province phased out almost 90 million tons of excessive and backward coal production capacity between 2015 and 2018 and shut down about two million kilowatts of coal power generation. Thirty percent of Shanxi's electricity is now powered by new and greener power sources.
"We are phasing out excessive and backward coal production capacity. Shanxi's reliance on coal production has already been relieved as new industry rises", said Lou Huining, Secretary of Shanxi Provincial CPC Committee, "We are also pushing for innovation in energy production, so it will be greener and more efficient."
To make up for the cut in coal production, Shanxi is diversifying its industry and exploring growth points in other sectors. New energy automobiles were introduced in 2012 and now have already reached a production capacity of 44 thousand cars per year. Solar power cell production has also jumped ten folds, from 262 thousand kilowatts in 2012 to 3.49 million kilowatts in 2018. The extraction capacity of coalbed methane, a clean energy source, in the province has reached 5.12 billion cubic meters, accounting for 90 percent of China's total production.