Several restrictions on energy consumption are imposed in three provinces in China, reports The Straits Times. In the city of Yiwu in eastern China, streetlights were turned off and factories were asked to operate only on a part-time basis. In southern Hunan province, elevators were shut down due to acute power shortage and in coastal Wenzhou, the government ordered companies to use heaters only when the temperate was at the cold.
Due to the economic recovery activities post-Covidoutbreak and extremely cold conditions due to the winter season, there has been an unprecedented surge in demand for electricity. China imported coal from Australia to meet its domestic demand, but due stopped the import following hostility with Australia and this decision has boomeranged now. The state media has reported that there are hundreds of trucks queuing at coal mines in China. Almost 150 million people residing in three provinces are suffering due to power shortage.
Chinese officials have been underplaying the power deficiency with repeated statements on the nation’s environmental target goals and China’s power to solve any problems affecting their citizens. But the report claims that the ground reality is entirely different. "In general, please believe that our ability to ensure stable energy supply is not a problem," Zhao Chenxin, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, which steers energy policy, said Monday. The country still draws nearly 70 per cent of its power from fossil fuels, predominantly coal.
Experts say that the current electricity crisis is an indication of a long term problem that China is about to face. This also exposes the Chinese Communist Party’s claim of being the best destination for manufacturers across the world and the practicability of a green target for the year 2060.