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Pleasure to see you again. 

Here is the China Air Quality Newsletter for July & August 2016, where we picked some highlights over the past one month. Of course, please feel free to kindly pass the newsletters to your friends who are interested in environmental issues in China. Our Air Quality Newsletters will continue delivering high-quality news to our concerned readers. You can click on this link to forward our email:[UNIQID]

We hope you'll enjoy our updates and continue caring for the air quality in China with us!

China Air Quality News

P.S. Did anything stand out to you about our newsletters? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments or questions about our China Air Quality News, so please don't hesitate to send them over.
  China Air Quality Newsletter

July & August 2016


Bluetech Supports Local Clean Air Policy Implementation

On 31st August, the 2nd Bluetech Award Campaign just closed call for application. This year, the Committee connected with over 50 partners and supporters across 16 countries and received more than 50 applications. Many partners and applications are from the leading countries for cleantech development, such as the US, UK, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, and etc.

The Bluetech Award aims to promote best available clean air technologies to help tackle China’s air pollution problems.  Air pollution is a very complex issue. Different cities are faced with very different sources of pollution due to varied economic development levels, energy structures, and urban modes. How to help cities to develop their own clean air action plans with reference of the most advanced technology is a key to accelerate the pace of restoring blue skies. CAAC launched 10 local clean air pilots since 2014. This year’s bluetech categories are closely linked to the technology needs from these pilots. 

Excess Coal Generation Capacity and Renewables Curtailment in China: Getting With the Plan

In recent months, the Chinese government has issued several high-profile policy statements directed toward the twin challenges of renewable energy curtailment and runaway investment in coal-fired capacity. These new policies appear to signal policymaker interest in dealing with these problems and might have some success in the near term. However, they rely on blunt mechanisms—guaranteed numbers of annual operating hours for wind and solar generators and limits on coal-fired power plant construction. As such, these policies do little to address underlying problems, particularly the need for increased flexibility and the need for reform of generator compensation.

Meanwhile, a less-discussed policy, issued by China’s National Energy Administration in June, may ultimately be more important for dealing with these challenges. This document, with the innocuous name Power Sector Planning Regulation (Chinese), sets out a broad framework for a transition of the Chinese power sector away from a model in which meeting rapid demand growth is the prime consideration—and toward a model based on careful consideration of complex trade-offs and multiple targets, including China’s goals for renewable energy, environmental quality, affordability, and reliability.

Activities in the Field

Longing for Blue Skies: Clearing the Air in China and India OR U.S.- China and U.S.-India Collaboration Dialogue on Clean Air

Although China’s implementation of improving its air quality policies and regulations are beginning to upgrade in recent years, air pollution in cities is still a key concern for the people.Meanwhile, the neighbor country India is also facing severe urban air pollution. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 13 of the world’s top 20 polluted cities are in India. As a critical factor to quality of life and public health, China and India are investing immensely to control their emissions and clean the air. Given the complexity of the challenge the 2 countries are facing, looking at international expertise and experience, creating market opportunities for clean air technology providers is one of the solutions.

On June 23, 2016 Asia Society hosted a workshop dialogue in San Francisco with the theme on ‘Longing for Blue Skies’. Ken Alex, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Chair of the Strategic Growth Council was invited. “The United States needs to work at the state and federal level, to show that places like California have shifted away from non-renewable,” Alex shared the experience on the air quality management in California. He mentioned that help for China and India can be found in the technological innovations of Silicon Valley.

Mr. Tonny Xie, the director and founder of Innovation Center for Clean-air Solutions (ICCS), which is acting as the Secretariat for Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC) and Mr. Anup Bandivadekar,the Passenger Vehicles Program Director and India lead with the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), both gave presentations on the current situations and marketing demands from China and India.

2016 Conference of Bulk Coal Pullution Control Successfully Held

2016 Conference of Clean and Efficient Use and Management of Bulk Coal was successfully held in Beijing on August 31st. China Association of Circular Economy hold this year’s meeting under the commission from World Wildlife Fund, Energy Foundation and Natural Resource Defence Council. This conference aims to promote the effective use and management of household coal, improve environment quality and speed up the pace of ecological civilization construction to seek its positive effects.

Over 200 people attended the conference, including those from relative departments of the government, both nationally and locally, from enterprises in China and the world and NGOs, all of which show great concern about effective use and management of household coal.

Capturing Win-Win Energy Efficiency and Air Quality Improvement Projects

Energy efficiency projects, despite their financial attractiveness and air-pollution-reducing benefits, often face institutional and technical barriers. In China, which has both severe air pollution and a sophisticated set of nationwide energy efficiency programs, more still needs to be done to enhance the role of efficiency in improving air quality. Practitioners in the energy efficiency and pollution control fields could better coordinate their planning and implementation to capitalize on the most promising energy efficiency opportunities, and this paper explores some ways to make that coordination happen.

A 2015 study by RAP and the Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP) evaluated investment costs, energy savings, and abatement of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from 84 projects completed in some of the top 10,000 energy-consuming enterprises in China. It found that the efficiency projects generate sizable financial benefits even before air pollution is considered, demonstrating that the barrier to further ramp-up is not project economics but rather organizational blockages and mismatched incentives, among other issues.

Changzhou Air Quality Management Pilot Project phase II Initiated

On August 4th, 2016, the kick-off meeting for City Air Quality Management Pilot Project Phase II was held in Changzhou city, Jiangsu Province. The meeting was jointly organized by Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC), Energy Foundation (EF) and Changzhou Research Academy of Environmental Sciences. Representatives from Changhzhou Environmental Protection Bureau, Changzhou Environmental Monitoring Center and Changzhou Research Academy of Environmental Sciences participated and joined the discussion on the project plan. 

Shenzhen Air Quality Management Pilot Project Phase II Launched, Focusing on Port Machinery Emission Control

On August 1st, 2016, at a port in Shenzhen, a stacker was transporting an empty container to a truck. After being installed with Diesel Particle Filter (DPF), the black smoke emitted from the exhaust of the stacker was gone. The battle against port air pollution is now taking place in Shenzhen.

After three months of preparation, a trail test of port machinery emission control technology has launched in Shenzhen. As the first city in China that has started to focus on port machinery emission control program, Shenzhen has published Limits and Measurements Methods for Diesel Engines Emission from Non-road Mobile Machinery, requiring that the diesel engine exhaust limit to be 0.5m-1. In order to achieve this limit and reduce port emission, exhaust control technologies should be employed, such as installing DPF, adding fuel additives, etc. Based on the assessment of Shenzhen Academy of Environmental Sciences, port activity contributes 13% of the total PM2.5 emission in Shenzhen, therefore port emission control is now considered as one of the major air quality improvement tasks in Shenzhen. This issue is highlighted within several published official documents such as Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Regulations of Shenzhen and 2015-2016 Focus on Air Pollution Control.

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AQ News in English

China puts curbs on shipping emissions
2016-08-31, Caixin
China moves toward taxation on pollutants
2016-08-29, Xinhua 
Group lauds success with air pollution
2016-08-23, China Daily 
Over 2,000 gov't regulators punished for environmental malpractice
2016-08-22, Xinhua
Why China doesn’t need any more coal plants
2016-08-10, China Dialogue
Air pollution is taking a serious toll on society
2016-7-19, China Daily
Air quality of Chinese cities improves in first half of 2016
2016-7-17, Xinhua 
China moves closer to “emissions plateau”
2016-7-15, China Dialogue
Beijing polluters fined almost 50 million yuan in first half of 2016
2016-7-12, Global Times
Northeast China to reduce power overcapacity, air pollution by 2020
2016-7-11, Xinhua
China Focus: New transportation plan promises faster, greener Beijing
2016-7-7, Xinhua
Most regions see air quality improvements, seven provinces get worse
2016-7-6, Global Times
Air pollution to kill millions unless energy policy changes
2016-6-27, Reuters (Global Times)
Closer Look: Why a congestion charge will not break Beijing's traffic gridlock
2016-6-20, Caixin

AQ News in Chinese   (with translated summaries and titles)

New China Environmental Protection Tax Law Expected, Taxes will be Higher Than Discharge Fee, Won’t Apply to Vehicles
On August 29th, the Minister of Finance discussed the draft of EPTL at the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The upcoming law will be collect an environmental protection tax from companies who discharge pollution into the air or sea. Vehicles are not listed in the draft. According to the law, the taxable pollutants are divided into four areas—air, water, solid waste, and noise. The new, higher taxes will replace the current discharge fee.

Liaoning Province: Pilot for Wind Power Heating System Underway
2016-8-22, People Daily
Liaoning Province, rich in wind power, built the first wind forecasting system in China, which has reached 90% accuracy. State Grid is exploring using this data to dispatch wind units to increase the local wind power consumption and decrease curtailment. A pilot program to use wind power for heating is using boilers to store power and provide heating at night. It could decrease wind curtailment by 20,000,000 KW/h per year and save 7,000 tons of coal.

Jing-jin-ji Region(Beijing-Tianjing-Hebei): Achieved Significant Result From Cooperative Control For Air Quality
2016-7-29, China Environmental News
Jing-jin-ji takes a further step towards completion of air quality management cooperative control mechanism, by expanding the cooperation in joint law enforcement, information sharing, and technology, which helps achieve significant improvements in air quality management. According to the news, Beijing has retired  176,000 vehicles that failed to meet certain emission standards in the first half year, bringing down the concentrations for 4 major pollutants. Among them, PM2.5 concentration decreased 17.9% from the same period of last year.

Power Sector Reform: a Substantial Step Towards Marketization is Drafted
2016-7-20, 21st Century Business Herald
National Development and Reform Commission and National Energy Administration jointly issued a policy document in July for public consultancy. It states that new coal-fire generation units put into operation after March 15, 2017, will not have guaranteed generation hours.  Their generation volume must be attained through power market trading, and will no longer get the regulated on-grid price.  The document encourages large consumers and generation plants engage in direct bilateral trade. For those smaller customers, a retail company could be intermediary for trading with generation plants. This means the retail company will be allowed to earn a “agency service fee”. According to expert analyzes, under the power oversupply situation, the “directly access” for large customers will lower their power price, which will help them decrease electricity costs by 20%-30%.

Shandong Province: Collect For VOCs Discharge Fee
2016-6-13, China Environmental News
Starting on June 1st, petrochemical and package printing industries pay for their VOCs discharge fee, 3 RMB per pollutional equivalent. The fee will be adjusted to 6 RMB per pollutional equivalent from January 1st 2017, and it will be extend to both the vehicle and furniture manufacture industry as well as the aluminium industry. From January 1st 2018, it will cover all key industries with VOCs emissions.

Invisible Killer: O3 Becomes the Primary Pollutant in Some Regions Including Beijing
2016-6-7, China Environmental News
China is in the early phase of studying O3 pollutant control and how to decide the ratio of VOCs and NOX emission reduction is a key challenge to decrease O3 concentration. The sources of VOCs are complex, which makes the work even harder, an official from Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

Yangtze River Delta: PM2.5 Concentration Decreased 7% in the First Half of the Year
2016-8-20, The Paper
Henan Province: 50 companies that did not meet air quality requirements received harsh warning from the deputy governor
HEI and Qinghua university release joint health report for China: 360,000 premature deaths in 2013 caused by coal burning
2016-8-18, The Paper
Shandong Province, Rizhao city: issued two policy papers to regulate vehicle environmental protection test institutions
2016-8-12, China Environmental News
Henan Province, Anyang city: 9 local government offices received 970 000 RMB in penalties for failing to meet air quality standard
2016-8-15, China Environmental News
A detailed task list and a compliance evaluation rule were developed to implement the Clean Air Action Plan.
2016-8-8, China Environmental News
Yunnan Province, Kunming city: 3-year action plan for new energy vehicle industry development and application was made (2016-2018)
2016-8-4, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China
Hebei Province: 11 key industries shall reach VOCs emission standard in a given period, otherwise businesses will be suspend
2016-8-2, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China
Zhejiang Province: vehicles that fail to reach emission standard will be retired by August 2016
2016-8-2, China Environmental News
Sichuan Province: working groups for air quality/water/soil pollution prevention was established, the governor takes a leading role
2016-7-28, The Paper
Henan Province: straw burning is the “first barrier” to improve local air quality
2016-6-27, Economic Information Daily
Yangtze River Delate: how will Yangtze River Delta Zone achieve air quality standards? Business-as-usual and New Policy scenarios are given for the emission reduction in China by 2020
2016-6-23, China Environmental News
Beijing aim to meet PM2.5 targets by 2020, forestry coverage will reach 44%
Jing-jin-ji region(Beijing-Tianjin-Heibei) and Yangtze River Delta: good air quality days increase from same period of last year
2016-6-15, China Environmental News
Shanghai: 48 hours air quality forecast is online showing 5 different timeperiodes (tonight, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night and the day after tomorrow)
2016-6-13, China Environmental News
Hebei Province: World Bank loans USD 500 million to Heibei province for improving air quality, the loan period is 19 years
2016-6-12, The Paper
Experts opinion: over 120,000 tons of clean energy vehicle battery will be scrapped in 4 years which could be re-used for energy storage purpose
2016-6-6, The Paper


China Air Quality Newsletter provides the latest news and activities about air quality in China. This monthly newsletter is compiled by Innovation Center for Clean-air Solutions (the Secretariat for CAAC), Energy Foundation China, and Regulatory Assistance Project, with contribution from our partner organizations.
Copyright © 2016 ICCS, EF & RAP, All rights reserved.
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