"Green" Olympics-2022

February 04, 2022

Last year China set the historical record in coal-producing — 4.1 billion tons. Despite it, in 2021 Chinese economy increased dependence on the import of coal almost by 7% to the level of 323 million tons, which affected the rise in price for energy resources in global markets.

In the nearest perspective, coal mining will reduce, while imports respectively will increase. This is shown by the gradual exhaustion of reserves since during the last 30 years mean mine depth increased from 280 to 1,280 meters.

Thus today Beijing faces an ambitious task — as fast as possible approve energy transition from fossil types of fuel (57% of electricity creates from coal) to the sources of renewable energy.

China declared this goal during preparation for the Olympics-2022 in such a way.

First of all, for the first time in history, all Olympic buildings will be provided with energy from renewable sources. To achieve this, 200 km northwest of Beijing where skiing and snowboard competitions are held, in the city of Zhangjiakou two wind (4 million kW) and solar (2.8 million kW) power plants and high-tension transmission lines were built. Power supply stability is provided by pumped hydroelectric energy storage.

The estimated electricity consumption of all Olympic buildings is more than 400 million kW/h. Guarantee of its origin will be “green” certificates given at the marketplace where electricity will be sold.

Also for the first time in the history of the Olympics ice will be created using special refrigerant, thus allowing drastically reduce CO emission. Continuing talking about lowering of emission of harmful substances issue, especially building, instead of creating new infrastructure, China expanded functions of already existing buildings of summer Olympics.

Secondly, athletes’ transportation will be carried out by 600 hydrogen fuel-cell-powered buses. Such transport will also be used by services. For this purpose, two hydrogen fuel-cell plants and eight charging stations were built.

Thirdly, large-scale events for providing low levels of energy consumption by Olympic facilities by the means of smart modules and optimization of heating and ventilation systems were conducted. For instance, using of smart grid in snow production complexes allows reducing the water consumption by 20%.

In addition, sewage treatment plants and water storage for collecting and treatment for further use of rainwater were built. Despite such a set of events, 185 million liters of water will be used, which will probably affect the drinking water needs of Beijing citizens.

For the period of competitions, to provide clean air next to Olympic facilities, metallurgical and chemical plants were stopped. 

As we can see, Beijing makes all possible, to show first to the USA its course for decarbonization and claim for leadership of the Chinese economy. But, the fact of Volodimir Putin’s presence at the Olympics’ opening ceremony, will demonstrate an unfriendly signal to democratic countries and thus negate all costs for preparations for the “Green” Olympics.

Maksym Bielawski

Leading Expert, Energy Programmes

Born in 1986 in Zhytomyr oblast


Zhytomyr State Technological University (2008)

Ph.D in Technical Science (2010)

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (2012)

Author of 17 patents and 100 scientific works

Work Experience:

2008 – 2011 — Operator of Gas Infrastructure Units, Controller of Gas Transmission System in Rivne Division of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2011 – 2017 — Leading Engineer, Deputy Head of Press-Service, Head of Public Relation Department of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2017 – 2018 — HR Director of PJSC "Maine Gas Pipelines of Ukraine", Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine

2021 — Director of Integrated Communications of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"