Power shortage in Beijing

Agence France Presse

Beijing, April 7:

China’s capital is facing electricity shortages this summer, forcing the government to take urgent measures to meet an ever rising demand, said Beijing’s Development and Reform Commission. Electricity shortages during summer months in the capital will amount to 1 million kilowatts, when consumption is expected to reach 10.7 million kilowatts, a 13.5 per cent rise from last summer, said Wang Haiping, vice-director of the commission. Electricity consumption in Beijing for the whole year is expected to rise six to eight per cent from last year, he said, without giving a figure. “The situation regarding electricity consumption this year is still grave,” he told a press conference.

To meet the ever increasing demand, the Beijing government plans to coordinate with power grids in other parts of China to ensure that supply to the capital will increase by 350,000 kilowatts during summer, he said. Beijing will also speed up on upgrading the city’s power grids by investing 2.2 billion yuan ($266 million) to resolve bottlenecks in the power supply. Other measures to be taken include adjusting usage by differentiating electricity prices for peak and off-peak hours and promoting the use of alternative energy resources, such as natural and liquified petroleum gas.

China first reported failure to meet power demand in 2000, and the situation has deteriorated steadily since then. Energy shortfalls reached crisis levels in 2004, with a 30,000-megawatt shortage last summer.