Electricity Rolling Blackout Has Become Routine Within Communist China as International Coal Price Spiked

Written/Translated by: Sister Karamazov

Image source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Caixin/Why-the-lights-are-going-out-in-China

According to multiple news resources within Communist China, several provinces around the country has declared an emergency on electricity shortage as coal supply becomes scarce and coal price spikes. Here are some of the examples:

  • Qinghai Province: A energy rationing warning was issued, and the scope of this energy rationing has continued to expand.
  • Ningxia Province: It is demanded that high-energy-consuming manufacturers pause production for one month.
  • Yunnan Province: Two rounds of electricity rationing have been carried out, and more rationing will soon follow.
  • Guangxi Province: It is required that industrial and commercial sectors use electricity in an
    “orderly manner”, i.e., avoid peak times.
  • Sichuan Province: Suspend non-essential production, lighting, and office loads.
  • Henan Province: Restrict electricity consumption for more than three weeks for some “processing manufacturers” .
  • Chongqing Municipality: Some factories paused production since early August.
  • Inner Mongolia: Strictly control the time limit of electricity for enterprises, and the price of electricity should not exceed 10%.
  • Jiangsu Province: It is reported that the electricity rationing in Jiangsu province is “unprecedented”, and more than 10 local steel mills along with some home appliances and clothes manufacturers have closed due to short of electricity, according to zaobao.com.
  • Hunan Province: State Grid in Hunan province has issued warning that by September 22, total coal inventory was merely 1.57 million tons, which is only enough for 9 days.

According to rfa.org, this round of electricity rationing is likely to be prolonged and may therefore affect the Chinese manufacturers and economy in a relatively long term. There are several factors that contributed to this round of severe electricity shortage: one is the fact that CCP’s Development and Reform Commission’s “Plan for Improving the Dual Control System of Energy Consumption Intensity and Total Volume” was released recently. And in this document, administrative targets were set on the upper limits of “energy consumption intensity” and “total energy consumption”.

The other reason being the spiking coal price and banning of Australia’s coal has decreased the supply of coal, which is the major source (around 60% by 2020, as shown in the figure below) for electricity generation within Communist China:

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_China#/media/File:China-electricity-prod-source-stacked.svg

Regarding the coal price increase, as of September 21, international coal price has reached $171.25/ton, which is a staggering 154.87% increase compared with that in the beginning of this year:

Image source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/coal-price






(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s own)

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