China starts using money as fuel

The People’s Bank of China literally has money to burn – and now it’s letting companies use their tattered bank notes to generate electricity.

All banknotes suffer wear and tear and eventually need to be replaced, but few countries have considered what to do with the old ones. In the UK, £13 billion worth is pulped into bricks and burned, according to CityAM. Now, China’s central bank has found a way to reduce the wastefulness by turning cash-burning into energy creation.

For now, the bank has only granted permission to one company in  Luoyang City, Henan Province to burn old money, but it appears to have been a success.

With Henan’s current unused paper money counted, the company can help generate 1.32 million kWh of electricity annually, which is equal to burning 4,000 tonnes of coal,” a source told Xinhua, the Chinese news agency.

It remains to be seen whether the practice will extend to other companies and banks around China – or, indeed, around the world.


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