The weather is getting cold day by day, and Pingyao, Shanxi already feels like winter.

At this time in previous years, it was time for Hao Xiuli, a villager in Xiangle Village, Pingyao County, to start burning coal for heating.

  Local bulk coal prices have risen sharply this year.

According to Hao Xiuli, "from 500 yuan a ton to 1,700 yuan a ton".

Although the local government will issue subsidies at around 1,000 yuan per ton of coal, coal prices are still too expensive.

  Residents in some northern areas have similar feelings.

Residents in Gansu, Inner Mongolia and other places reported on online platforms that the price of coal for heating this winter has risen. In some places, coal prices have reached two to three times the price of the same period last year.

  At the beginning of the heating season, energy shortages are happening around the world, and the "carbon reduction" requirements for carbon peaks and carbon neutrality are on the line again, and energy supply is facing unprecedented challenges.

  Hit the policy "combination punch"

  Data show that since late August, the thermal coal futures price has gone from less than 800 yuan/ton to a maximum of 1,900 yuan/ton. In some places, the price of heating coal has risen from 800 yuan/ton to more than 2,000 yuan/ton.

The increase in coal prices not only affects the heating and heating of ordinary residents, but also affects the power supply downstream.

About 60% of China's electricity production depends on the supply of coal. "Coal crazy" will have an adverse impact on the macro economy and basic people's livelihood.

  Peng Wensheng, chief economist of China International Capital Corporation, pointed out that since the beginning of this year, coal supply has continued to be tight, and the drag on its own production capacity and import restrictions are the main factors.

At the same time, there is a widespread shortage of coal and natural gas worldwide.

On the one hand, global climate change has brought new growth in demand, and global power generation demand has generally increased over-seasonal this summer; on the other hand, there is widespread global green transformation that suppresses petrochemical energy production, while new energy stability is weak.

  From the domestic situation, there is also a mismatch between coal production and demand.

According to data released by the China Coal Industry Association for the first half of the year, the national coal consumption from January to June was about 2.1 billion tons, an increase of 10.7% year-on-year, while the raw coal output of enterprises above designated size was 1.95 billion tons, an increase of 6.4% year-on-year.

  In order to deal with the problem of the mismatch between coal supply and demand, the National Development and Reform Commission and other relevant departments have launched a series of policy "combination punches": research on the implementation of intervention measures on coal prices in accordance with the law; The exchange survey emphasized strengthening supervision in accordance with the law and severely investigating and punishing the malicious speculation of thermal coal futures by capital.

  On October 24, the National Development and Reform Commission announced that the Price Department of the National Development and Reform Commission organized local cost surveys of coal production and circulation enterprises, and formed multiple investigation teams with the price and cost investigation center to conduct investigations on key coal production and circulation enterprises in relevant provinces. Companies conduct on-site investigations to provide a basis for determining a reasonable range of coal prices and preventing coal companies from making huge profits.

  On October 20, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council emphasized at a press conference that power generation companies should increase coal procurement and guard the bottom line of safe coal storage for 7 days.

On October 21, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission stated that it would do everything possible to ensure the reasonable financing needs of coal power, coal and other production enterprises, and urge financial institutions to provide reasonable credit support to coal power, coal, heating and other enterprises and projects that meet the support conditions.

On October 22, the State Administration of Taxation announced that all taxes payable by coal power and heating companies in the fourth quarter of this year will be deferred.

  Speed ​​up supply in production and transportation

  At the local level, major coal-producing regions across the country have introduced corresponding measures.

  Shaanxi Yulin proposed that from October 19, the coal sales price in the jurisdiction will be adjusted by 100 yuan/ton based on the current market price of similar coal types. The price of enterprises that have signed a long-term guarantee supply agreement shall not exceed 1,200 yuan/ton, and private enterprises shall not More than 1500 yuan/ton.

  Recently, many coal mines in Datong, Shuozhou, Mengdong, Ordos, Yulin, Tongchuan and other places have taken the initiative to reduce coal pit sales prices, all of which have been reduced by more than 100 yuan/ton, and the highest price cut has reached 360 yuan/ton.

  According to data from the National Development and Reform Commission, since September, the country has allowed 153 coal mines to increase nuclear production capacity by 220 million tons per year, and increase production by more than 50 million tons in the fourth quarter. Release production capacity in stages, with a total production capacity of 100 million tons/year; handle land use procedures for more than 60 coal mines to ensure the stable release of production capacity of more than 150 million tons/year; actively promote the resumption of production and production of eligible coal mines with temporary suspension of production and speed up the recovery of coal Market supply.

  In addition to accelerating supply in production links, adjustments in transportation and circulation are also accelerating.

  For the vast majority of ordinary people, heating this winter has not been affected much.

Duan Guodong, a retired elder who lives in Xinghualing District, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, told reporters that because of the early winter this year, his community started heating more than ten days in advance.

"On October 20th, the hot water pipes in the house started to heat up, and the heating fee was the same as in previous years, at 4.8 yuan per square meter. In addition, there was a monthly heating subsidy for retired employees."

  How to deal with the "carbon reduction" challenge

  In fact, rising coal prices and energy shortages are a common challenge facing the world.

Since the beginning of this year, the global economy has begun to recover vigorously, driving energy consumption demand growth, but coal supply has not been able to keep up, and other energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and hydropower have not been able to play a better role in substitution.

The trading price of thermal coal at the Port of Newcastle, Australia, which is the benchmark for global coal prices, exceeded US$200 per ton, three times that of the end of 2019.

  The tight energy supply situation has sounded the alarm.

In order to cope with the tight energy supply situation, some countries are also shaking up the promotion of clean energy.

In September, the United Kingdom launched an old coal power plant to meet electricity demand; some EU countries are also considering opening coal and oil plants to avoid power outages in winter.

Some analysts believe that this energy shortage crisis may continue to spread, which will affect the achievement of carbon emission targets in various countries.

  Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Economic Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, recently stated at a public forum that carbon reduction should not be a sporty exercise and cannot be quick and easy.

Under the influence of energy "dual control" indicators in some places, in order to complete the emission reduction targets, power cuts are only an isolated phenomenon, but they also reflect a tendency.

  "What we are currently adopting to reduce emissions and'carbon reduction' is to decompose mission objectives from the top to the bottom, and mainly rely on administrative means to promote it. Is there a better way?" Liu Shijin believes that in the energy supply shortage Between the “double-carbon” goal, the principle of “starting before breaking” should be followed. The key is to use green technologies to replace traditional technologies. This is to reduce carbon emissions, not reduce energy supply and reduce production speed.

"The process of'carbon reduction' should follow the laws of green transformation and the laws of the market, otherwise good things may not be done well."

China Youth Daily·China Youth Daily reporter Wang Lin and intern Cao Jingkai Source: China Youth Daily