China It is mired in an energy crisis as coal shortages, tighter emissions standards and strong industrial demand have pushed coal prices to record levels and a widespread reduction in its use.

Since when has there been a problem with the power supply?

Restrictions on household energy use came into effect. However, China’s huge industrial base has been grappling with intermittent jumps in energy prices and usage restrictions since at least March, when Inner Mongolia provincial authorities ordered some heavy industries, including aluminum smelters, to slow usage so the province could meet energy use. The goal for the first quarter.

In May, similar requests to reduce consumption were met by manufacturers in the southern province of Guangzhou, one of the main energy export hubs, as they put the grid to the test, due to hot weather and lower-than-normal hydropower generation. .

Other large industrial areas on China’s east coast have also recently faced consumption limits and blackouts.

What are China’s energy consumption targets and why are they there?

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in late 2020 at a United Nations summit on climate change that the country would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product, or carbon intensity, by more than 65% by 2030, compared to 2005.

As the world’s leading producer of carbon dioxide and other polluting gases, China’s ability to reduce emissions is seen as crucial in the global fight against carbon dioxide. Climate change.

Xi also promised a strong increase in renewable energy capacity at the summit, but his carbon-intensity targets have been the most followed guideline since then to reduce emissions, especially in provinces, where local authorities have the power to ensure that the targets are met.

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Has energy use decreased since the eleventh announced those goals?

According to the country’s main planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), only 10 of mainland China’s 30 regions reached their energy cut targets in the first six months of 2021.

In response to the collective non-compliance, the National Defense Committee in mid-September announced harsher penalties for areas that fail to achieve their goals, and said it would hold local officials accountable to the limits of the absolute demand for power in their areas.

Will China produce less energy in 2021 because of the goals?

China’s total power generation through August 2021 was 10.1% higher than the same period in 2020, and nearly 15% higher than the same period in 2019, as utilities around the world increased capacity to meet growing industrial demand.

However, along with increased power generation, higher toxic emissions emerged, exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of the year.

How do zones limit power to specific users?

Local governments in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Yunnan and Canton provinces have asked factories to reduce energy use or reduce production.

Some power providers have sent notices to large users to shut down production during periods of peak energy demand, which can be from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., or to shut down their operations entirely for two or three days a week.

Others have been ordered to close until further notice or until a specified date, such as soybean processing plants in Tianjin in eastern China, which have been closed since September 22.

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What industries have been affected by power outages?

The impact on industries is wide-ranging and includes energy-intensive sectors such as aluminum smelting, steelmaking, cement manufacturing, and fertilizer production.

At least 15 publicly traded Chinese companies that produce a range of materials and goods — from aluminum and chemicals to dyes and furniture — have reported that their production has been disrupted by power outages.

Residential users have also been affected, and some parts of northeastern China have been asked to limit the use of water heaters and microwaves to conserve energy.

What was Beijing’s response to the electricity crisis?

The committee said on Friday that it would work to solve the electricity shortage problem, but did not give specific details about the steps it would take.

One of the main short-term challenges for Beijing is its current trade dispute with Australia, the world’s second largest coal exporter, which has slowed shipments of coal to China considerably while local authorities tighten safety regulations, slowing production at Chinese mines. Then. series of accidents.

Another factor is the global shortage of natural gas, as many major economies are trying to obtain this fuel simultaneously after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

However, China’s State Grid Corporation said Monday that it will “make every effort to fight to ensure power supply” to customers and send more power through its grid.


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