Ramboll took part in a World Bank financed study for Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau. The aim was to analyze how Beijing could optimize the environmental benefit for all sectors: waste, water, waste water and air pollution from traffic and heating. Ramboll was sub-consultant for ES California for the component air pollution from heating.
The air pollution was severe due to thousands of small coal boilers with black smoke. Beijing started already in 1984 to study the Copenhagen system and found that the replacement of small polluting boilers with district heating based on large CHP plants improved air quality and reduced the fuel consumption by a factor 2-3.
Energy planning model
Ramboll developed with the Chinese staff an energy planning model linked to an atmospheric model, simulating emissions from all sources and calculating pollutants in the air. The study confirmed that the city-wide district heating based on CHP plants reduced the pollutants in the air in the city significantly.
The study is still of interest as Beijing implemented it in due time before the Olympic games and issued a ban on individual coal firing in the city. This has contributed to a growth in district heating by 17 % p.a. in China, and Beijing serves as a model for other cities. Next step can, like in Copenhagen, be to install more flue gas cleaning and to replace coal by gas and renewable energy for district heating.