China rations electricity amid heat wave

Posted 16 August, 2022

China is rationing power for professionals in the country's southwest as hot weather tugs on demand as hydroelectric facilities are hit by weak rivers, state media reported. State.

In the province of Sichuan (southwest), temperatures regularly exceed 40°C in recent days, which leads to almost systematic use of air conditioning to cool the approximately 84 million inhabitants.

To produce its electricity, Sichuan depends 80% on hydraulic dams. But rivers in the region have dried up, according to the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources.

To save electricity, 19 cities in the province have ordered factories and businesses to suspend their activity, according to a notice published on Sunday and relayed by the official media.

In effect until Saturday, the measure does not concern individuals.

However, some companies may operate at a limited capacity for special needs.

Sichuan is a key region in China for the manufacture of lithium, a metal present in electric batteries.

A factory operated by the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, the main supplier of the American Apple, notably suspended its production.

The consequence of the restrictions: the production of lithium should be reduced by at least 1,200 tons, which makes jump the prices of lithium carbonate, underlines with AFP the analyst Susan Zou, of the specialized firm Rystad Energy.

The coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu (east) as well as Anhui (east) have also imposed electricity rationing for professionals.

China again issued several red alerts on Monday due to scorching temperatures in several regions.

Midsummer heat waves are not unusual in China, especially in the arid west and south.

But they seem to be getting stronger in recent years with climate change, scientists say.

 

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