Chinese City Freezes for Energy Saving Target

ALMOST 20,000 people were left in the cold when the central heating in Linzhou City, central China's Henan Province, was suspended last week, allegedly to save energy.

Despite restoration of much of the heating, the city’s population may have to endure freezing weather for the rest of this winter after part of the city's heating service was stopped due to the enforced closure of a major local power plant to meet energy-saving goals.

Li, an employee at the Cultural Department of the local government told the Global Times that the authority had turned off the heating supply in order to reach the emission reduction targets.

The Linzhou City government, however, refute such claims. Guo Qiang, vice mayor of Linzhou City, told Xinhua news: "It has nothing to do with the targets. The city has realised the targets for 2010."

But Li added: "Sometimes, there is no electric power for nearly 12 hours a day in the outskirts, with the goal of reaching the government's emission target."

"The halt in heating supply is not an accident," Hu Xingdou, an expert on China-related issues with the Beijing Institute of Technology stated.

Hu said that shutting down electricity power in order to accomplish the annual carbon-emission task assigned by the State Council at the end of the year, is a dereliction of duty.
The Beijing News also stated yesterday that the city's heat was suspended in order to meet the energy saving and emission reduction targets.

Guo said: "We followed the state's policy of 'developing large thermal power companies and closing smaller ones' in 2008. Since Datang Linzhou Thermal Power Co., Ltd. launched a large thermal unit, the Youchuang company has to be shut down at the end of 2010."

"However, the new project did not work as planned this winter, thus causing the suspension," said Guo.

Picture by meryddian

Thursday 13th January 2011

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