The city of Beijing will spend billions of dollars in the next seven years to improve its environment in preparation for the Olympic Games.BEIJING, China, CN, 2001-07-24 [SolarAccess.com] The city of Beijing will spend billions of dollars in the next seven years to improve its environment in preparation for the Olympic Games. The city’s bid had support from 20 non-government environmental groups which signed an ‘Action Plan for a Green Olympics,’ but civic officials say the ten-year environmental protection plan would have proceeded without winning the games. Its plan for ‘greenification’ include 100 square kilometer park, green belts within city limits, and the planting of millions of trees. The Olympic bid includes plan for a 760 hectare artificial forest to be erected near the games village. The quality of air will be aided by the introduction of solar and geothermal energy, as well as natural gas. Bid documents say 90 percent of buses and 70 percent of taxis will use clean energy by 2007. The development of new energy sources are part of the city’s tenth Five Year Plan that runs from 2001 to 2005. There currently are 158 geothermal wells in Beijing, with combined annual output of 800,000 cubic meters. The city plans to explore 104 more geothermal wells in the next five years, which will heat 3 to 5 million square meters of space. That consumption would require 90,000 to 150,000 tons of coal under current heating methods. Beijing will develop solar energy heaters, sunrooms and sun greenhouses, and will construct 100 straw gasification stations in suburban counties and develop biogas pits.