Power Shortages Start To Bite

A sign of how fast the economy continues to grow: state media are reporting power shortages in several provinces. The China Electricity Council says it may be short of 30 million kilowatts of power come the peak summer season. Zhejiang, home of much heavy industry, is already facing its most severe shortages since 2004. Guangdong, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Hunan are also suffering from shortages with some rationing already introduced.

This is mostly a structural supply demand imbalance though coal shortages are playing a part now, particularly the disruption of coking coal imports from Australia following flooding in Queensland. Nationwide, electricity consumption in the first quarter of the year was up 12.7% over the same period of 2010, exceeding 1 trillion kilowatts. Supply is struggling to keep up, with capacity expansion planned to increase by 9% this year. More grist for the mill of those wanting the expansion of the country’s nuclear power generation to be resumed.

Footnote: China Law Blog considers the implications for locating a foreign-owned small business.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Power Shortages Start To Bite

  1. Paul

    Surely with power shortages such as the abovementioned… China will need to recommence its Nuclear Build.. I appreciate there are risks and fears, especially post the distastrous Japanese incident..
    But Nuclear power is too efficient and clean to ignore surely..
    Whats the latest on that front?
    P.S – superb blog!

    • We agree that China’s energy demands leave it with little option but to resume its ambitious program of nuclear-power expansion once its post-Fukushima safety review is completed. That has already produced a new set of emergency guidelines for China’s nuclear plants, mainly intended to cope with multiple natural disasters. Meanwhile, the inspections of existing plants and those under construction ordered in March are continuing. Construction work had not been stopped on the 12 new plants where work has already started but ground is not being broken for any of the 25 or more proposed plants where it has not. We don’t expect work to start on any of them until new construction standards are set out. Those are unlikely to be announced before the safety inspections are completed, which is unlikely to be before August, we understand. Meanwhile existing and plants under construction will have reinforcements made to their exterior walls and their anti-flood defenses improved in line with what the new construction standards are likely to require. –CB

      P.S. Thanks for your P.S. We appreciate the kind words.

  2. Pingback: China’s Nuclear-Power Safety Review: An Update | China Bystander

  3. Pingback: Power Shortages Spreading | China Bystander

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