Beijing’s biggest coal-fired power plant has suspended operations and now electricity for the metropolis is exclusively being generated by gas.
The closure of the Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant was announced in the aftermath of the annual session of Parliament, during which the Chinese Premier promised to return a blue sky to the Chinese.
China news reports that Beijing is the first city in China where electricity is wholly generated by natural gas, which had been one of the goals set by the city’s 2013 five-year plan.
The Huangneng plant is the fourth to have been replaced since 2013 by a gas-fired plant.
The announcement of its closure occurred during the night, shortly before the municipality issued on Sunday a blue alert to air pollution. “Smog” has already darkened the sky of the capital for several days, a situation that is expected to continue into next week.
In recent days, fine particles in the air of Beijing’s air has been up to ten times more than the maximum level recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
These particles, which settle deep into the lungs and can pass into the bloodstream, are responsible for higher than average rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancers and heart disease.
Pollution levels generally drop in Beijing dramatically when major national or international events take place.
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