Datong remains unswerving in pursuit of green development
Panda-shaped photovoltaic power station in Datong [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Datong city in North China's Shanxi province – once a region heavily dependent on coal for its development – has now become a model for the wider energy revolution and the economic transformation of resource-based regions in the country.
Starting in 2017, Datong moved to optimized the structure of its energy industry and accelerated the construction of a green and diversified energy supply system.
The city undertook a series of effective initiatives in energy supply-side structural reform with the clean, low-carbon and efficient use of coal, and the development of renewable energy.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), 31 coal mines were closed in Datong, reducing annual production capacity by 20.2 million metric tons. As of the end of 2020, all coal mines with less than 600,000 tons of output capacity had been shut down.
The new energy industry has been supporting the economic transformation of Datong which has been developing the six new energy industry clusters of wind power, solar power, hydrogen energy, new energy vehicles, the clean and efficient use of coal as well as new energy and its storage.
By the end of 2020, the installed capacity of new energy in Datong had reached 6.11 million kilowatts, accounting for 41.2 percent of the total installed capacity of the city.
In particular, the solar power station in Duzhuang township, Yunzhou district, has an installed capacity of 50 MW. It is projected to provide 1.8 billion kWh of green power within 25 years, which is equivalent of saving 610,000 tons of coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.34 million tons.
Datong has also promoted clean heating for its green and low-carbon development.
As of Aug 15 this year, Datong had converted buildings with a floor space covering 598,000 square meters to clean heating, as well as renovated coal-fired power plants with a total floor space of 1.6 million sq m to realize ultra-low emissions. Some 1,021 households had also switched from coal-fired heating to electric heating.
As a result, among the 11 prefecture-level cities in Shanxi, Datong ranked first in the comprehensive index for ambient air quality from January to June this year.