Against the freezing cold, the Chinese government wants clean energy, but there is not enough gas for heating

The authorities are urging consumer to use natural gas instead of coal to reduce pollution. However, gas prices have increased by up to 20 per cent. Hundreds of trucks carry liquified gas from Zhuhai (Guangdong) for up to 3,000 km to Hebei, Shanxi, and Hunan.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) is urging consumers to use gas instead of coal to keep warm in order to have cleaner air. However, this has led to high demand for gas and thus to shortages, especially in the countryside.

The gas crunch began last month with gas supplies dropping by up to 20 per cent in a few weeks. This has led to a jump in domestic natural gas prices.

The onshore price of liquefied natural gas in northern China has nearly doubled reaching as much as 8,000 yuan per tonne.

However, because of the icy cold, the NEA has allowed the use of coal, promising to boost the construction of gas pipelines and power stations.

Meanwhile, higher costs have pushed rural residents, among the poorest in the country, to burn coal briquettes in lieu of gas.

Natural gas shortages are felt mainly in Hebei, Shanxi and Hunan.

Rows of trucks carrying liquified gas (pictured) travel up to 3,000 km from Zhuhai (Guangdong), where the terminals are, to the northern provinces, pushing the price of gas further up.