- Population of circa 36 million people spread across 11 cities and 119 counties and districts
- Taiyuan is the capital of the province with a population of 4.2 million and there are eight cities in the province with a population above 3 million people
- The province is resource rich and is the home of heavy industry. Population size and demand for energy is significant trend and the heavy industry has resulted in significant infrastructure build out
- The high level of economic and population growth combined with coal to fuel electricity generation has made air quality amongst the worst in China
Coal production in 2012 was 913m tonnes, 25% of the country’s total and second only to Inner Mongolia. Industry in Shanxi is centred around heavy industries such as coal and chemical production, power generation and metal refining which has attracted significant infrastructure build out.
As a result of this growth and high usage of coal, air quality in the province is amongst the worst in China. China’s 12th Five-Year Plan focuses on energy efficiency and the use of cleaner energy sources such as natural gas as the fuel of choice for power generation, for use in bus and truck fleets and for powering the boiler network which provides heat for the cities.
For China, building a thriving economy based on low carbon growth is not just an environmental imperative but a route to further prosperity and the means by which the country will meet rising aspirations for improved standards of living in terms of food, housing, transport and employment.
The province is well placed to absorb the migration of lower- end manufacturing leaving the Eastern Coastal Region due to convenient location, good transportation system and abundance of cheap labour.
The province is rich in minerals with a great variety spread across a wide area. It has 62 minerals with proven reserves including 34 which rank amongst the top 10 in China, including coal. Other significant reserves include magnesium, bauxite and fireclay.
Power generation is expected to grow as more power plants move inland to reduce pollution in the coastal regions as it is much closer to major population centres such as Beijing and Tianjin than other energy-rich provinces.
Kingdom of Coal
The province has been called the “Kingdom of Coal”, because of its 267 billion tons of proven reserves, or 20% of the country’s total.
Urbanisation is a substantial trend with urban population now at 50% (2012), up from 46% in 2009. Economic growth between 2009 and 2012 averaged 18% and was 9% in 1H13.