China’s power crisis – A big deal, here’s why!

Local Chinese agencies have unexpectedly requested power cuts at many factories in the last week. This is reflecting a system that tries in order to respond to a number of commands from Beijing, and macroeconomic improvements.

Following is a wide summary of how the power crisis was established:

Rise in prices due to a drop in coal supply

Back in late 2020, China ceased purchasing coal from Australia, once the Asian giant’s major source of imported coal. Political conflicts between the two nations have intensified. This is after Australia advocated an inquiry into how Beijing deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

Renewable energy drops off

However, as China tries to turn to renewable energy, a serious drought hit the hydropower center of Yunnan province. Water-generated power fall off year-on-year in July and August by more than 4% each month, as per the National Development and Reform Commission.

Power rationing starts

An add-on to severe temperatures, manufacturing works are requiring more electricity as they rush in order to fill international orders for Chinese goods. Exports have risen by double digits in the midst of the pandemic.

In the meantime, the coal supply was dropping as mines shut down in a public effort in order to decrease carbon emissions. The coal inventory of major power plants went a ten-year low in August, as per Wind data.

Some government departments cut electricity overnight

Some of the most recent changes were quite rapid. For example, on 23rd September, management of a high-tech industry area in Hunan province requested power restrictions, effective instantly. The restrictions are set to last through Thursday, the day before China’s National Day holiday that runs from 1st October to 7th October.

Economic impact

The shock to many Chinese manufacturing works comes as investors fear fallout in the enormous real estate sector. This is as indebted property giant Evergrande cautions of default. Together with related businesses like construction, real estate accounts for almost a quarter of China’s GDP, as per Moody’s.

Following the industry’s nearly two decades of swift, debt-fueled growth, controllers have moved in with stricter rules on how much contractors can borrow.


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