China says it wants to keep its people warm and use more clean energy, but is having trouble doing both as a natural gas shortage that has left thousands shivering in northern China spreads to more parts of the country, Caixin reports. “We must increase the use of clean energy and ensure people have sufficient winter heating,” the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Thursday in a 13-point guideline.
The natural gas shortage began last month after the government aggressively pushed a program to replace coal-fired heating with systems powered by natural gas or electricity in smoggy northern China. The National Development and Reform Commission’s Hebei province branch warned that the gas supply there would run short of demand by 10% to 20% starting on Nov. 28. The supply crunch has led to a surge in domestic natural gas prices. The onshore price of liquefied natural gas in northern China has nearly doubled over the past three months to between 6,000 yuan ($906) and 8,000 yuan per ton.