According to CNN, a growing power supply shortage in China is causing blackouts in homes and forcing factories to cut production, threatening to slow the country’s vast economy and put even more strain on global supply chains.
Companies in the country’s industrial heartlands have been told to reduce their energy consumption in order to reduce power demand, according to state media. According to the report, supply has been cut to some homes, reportedly trapping people in elevators.
An “unexpected and unprecedented” power cut hit three northeastern provinces on Monday, according to the Global Times, a state-run tabloid. The newspaper reported Tuesday that power rationing in Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning provinces has “resulted in major disruptions to the daily lives of people and business operations.”
Power outages have also been reported in Guangdong, China’s southernmost province and a major industrial and shipping hub. According to local officials, many businesses are attempting to reduce demand by working two or three days per week.
China’s State Grid Corporation said Monday that it would “go all out to fight the tough battle of power supply,” making every effort to secure residential consumption.
China experienced a similar power outage in June, but the situation is deteriorating due to a perfect storm. Its industries are under intense pressure from soaring energy prices as well as Beijing’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
The world’s largest polluter is attempting to meet a pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. This necessitates that its provinces use less fossil fuel per unit of economic output, for example, by burning less coal to generate electricity. At the same time, as the global economy recovers from the pandemic, demand for Chinese-made goods has increased. As a result, there isn’t enough power to go around, according to the report.