Beijing (UPI) May 4, 2011
China is grappling with power shortages in advance of the summer peak consumption season.
For example, the township of Songsha, in east China's Zhejiang Province, home to more than 1,000 umbrella manufacturers, has experienced power blackouts every four days since March.
State-owned news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday that the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, said that about 20 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have been rationing electricity since the beginning of this year.
Figures from China's National Energy Bureau indicate that the country's electricity consumption in the first quarter of this year rose to 1.09 trillion kilowatts per hour, a 12.72 percent increase from last year.
The China Electricity Council warned that the power supply shortage could rise to 30 million kilowatts this summer, the country's worst shortage since 2004, The Global Times newspaper of China reported Wednesday.
Some experts point to soaring thermal coal prices -- which have been increasing every week since March 17, reaching a record high of $124 a ton by April 20 -- as the underlying explanation for China's blackouts. But state-determined electricity prices haven't increased, so many thermal power stations have had to operate at a loss.
"The problem is not that China produces too little electricity," Nate Taplin an analyst at GaveKal Dragonomics, a financial services firm, told the Financial Times. "The warnings of blackouts are instead best understood as a form of blackmail: power producers want the government to raise the prices they get for electricity."
As rationing increases, Taplin said, private manufacturers may resort to diesel generators for generating electricity.
"Without price hikes to address the structural problem, outages will probably be significant and lead to a bump in diesel demand," he said.
Meanwhile, the CEC said some power plants have temporarily shut down because of coal shortages. The council expects power shortages to continue or possibly become worse around the middle of the country's 12th Five-Year Plan period, which runs 2011-15.
"The current electricity rates are too low and can no longer mitigate the rising cost of power generation," Zhou Dadi, vice chairman of the China Energy Research Society, told the Global Times. "It's time to lift the administrative control on electricity rates to allow it to fluctuate to reflect market demand."
The newspaper said the CEC in a newly released report called for the government to increase electricity rates "appropriately" to address the power shortages.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Australians turning off carbon tax: poll
Sydney (AFP) May 4, 2011
Australians are increasingly opposed to a carbon tax to combat climate change with support for the government's proposal plunging over the past two months, a poll released Wednesday showed. Australians, among the world's worst per capita carbon polluters, have proposed various schemes to reduce harmful carbon emissions in recent years but none has ever been implemented. Labor Prime Minis ... read more
China facing electricity shortages|
Australians turning off carbon tax: poll
California Signs New Renewable Portfolio Standard into Law
China Energy Consumption Will Stabilize
Oil drilling group Transocean reports profit slump
Universal Bioenergy's NDR Energy Group Awarded Gas Supply Agreement
Crude oil plunges below $100 in New York
Strong dollar, weak data send oil prices plunging
Evolutionary lessons for wind farm efficiency
Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict
Study: Warming won't lessen wind energy
Mortenson Construction to Build its 100th Wind Project
American Vision Brings New 'Light' to Solar Energy
Natcore Technology Successfully Uses LPD Process on Textured Solar Cells
Southwest Solar Announces New Collaboration at Research Park
Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation Installs Solar Panels
Australia looks at nuclear power's future
Cracks found in protective casings at Bulgaria nuclear plant
Swiss watchdog orders nuclear plants to tackle flaws
France denies reactor programme halted
Formidable fungal force counters biofuel plant pathogens
Interjet and Airbus Conduct First Biofuel Flight in the Country
BioJet and Abundant Biofuels Agree to Merge
Food vs fuel: the debate is over
Top Chinese scientists honored with naming of minor planets
China sees smooth preparation for launch of unmanned module
China to attempt first space rendezvous
Countdown begins for Chineses space station program
Climate Change Analysis Predicts Increased Fatalities from Heat Waves
The case for climate change
Water currents of South Africa could stabilize climate in Europe
No binding climate deal at Durban, warn US, EU
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|