Beijing’s Municipal Commission of Development and Reform has announced that the city will cap its annual coal consumption at 20 million tons (18.12 million tonnes) by 2015, as part of its plan to reduce CO2 emissions.

The city will increase use of natural gas and imported electricity to meet its increasing electricity demand.

Wang Yingjian, an official from the Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, said: “With the city continuing to expand, the electricity demand is set to increase, so the pressure to further bring down the energy and carbon intensity is mounting.”

According to the commission, Beijing aims by 2015 to reduce its energy intensity by 17 per cent and carbon emissions by 18 per cent compared with the 2010 levels.

To help achieve these goals, Beijing will replace four coal fired power plants with natural gas fired units, and it will also increase the share of renewable energy from 3.2 per cent in 2010 to 6 per cent by 2015.

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