In Northern China, approximately 40% of energy in the residential and service building sector is consumed by heating. One of the main reasons for this consumption is the inefficiency of existing heating systems (low-power individual boilers and energy losses on dilapidated networks). The Chinese Government is actively promoting district and centralized heating, as well as the use of cogeneration power plants for heating. Coal accounts for 70% of China’s primary balance and is the country’s main source for the production of urban heating, particularly in Shanxi Province, a major producing region for this fossil fuel.
In Taiyuan, the project involves phasing out 254 inefficient small boiler systems and building three levels of urban heating networks (a total of 55 km):
- A 9.6 km-long primary network from the power plant to a pressure isolation station (the difference in altitude makes this necessary);
- A secondary network comprising 75 substations and a 44 km-long network;
- Part of the tertiary network. This network is supplied by a cogeneration plant (first phase: two times 300 MW) and supplies a surface area of 10.6 million m2.
In Jinzhong, 677 small boiler systems and 8 district boiler systems with a low level of efficiency have been decommissioned. They have been replaced by a heating network for which the first 97.5 km-long phase is equipped with 87 heat exchange stations and supplied by a new cogeneration plant (two times 300 MW). This network supplies a surface area of 10.15 million m2.
The replacement of small boiler systems in Taiyuan and Jinzhong should allow an annual reduction of emissions of 400,000 teq CO2 for each project. It will also lead to a significant reduction in local pollutant emissions: 2,065 tons of SO2 and 2,004 tons of soot in Taiyuan; 1,374 tons of SO2 and 4,155 tons of soot in Jinzhong.
This improvement in the local environment will have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of the population. The demonstrative nature of these two projects will be able to serve as a reference for the large-scale dissemination of technological innovations. It will also contribute to developing the urban heating sector in China towards technical and operational optimization.
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