Central Government Pushes for Shallow Geothermal Energy as Replacement for Coal

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Beijing is pushing for the adoption of shallow geothermal energy as a replacement for coal -fuelled heating in the country’s frigid north.

On 8 January China’s National Development and Reform Commission issued the “Notification Concerning the Acceleration of the Development and Usage of Shallow Geothermal Energy to Expedite North Heating Area Coal Burning Reduction and Replacement” (关于加快浅层地热能开发利用促进北方采暖地区燃煤减量替代的通知) in conjunction with several other central government agencies.

The Notice aims for the “effective application” of shallow geothermal energy for heating purposes in key parts of northern China such as Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei by 2020, in order to replace household usage of coal and “optimise the heating energy usage structure.”

According to the Notice central government agencies must make shallow geothermal energy usage a key part of the reduction and replacement of coal burning, as well as drive improvements to urban and rural energy infrastructure and advance the “equalisation” of public services such as heating and cooling.

The Notice also calls for innovation in usage and development models, the “vigorous promotion of contractual energy management models” for shallow geothermal energy that involve “packaged” projects covering the full-cycle of development and usage, including construction, operation and maintenance.

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