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Five regions warned of winter power cuts
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-05 08:35

At least four provinces are in for a harsh winter because of probable power shortages, a senior official working in the power grid has confirmed.

Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Fujian provinces, and Shanghai Municipality, are likely to be hit, said Cheng Guangjie, vice-president of the East China Power Grid.

He said the situation in the areas would remain tense for winter and spring.

"The gap between supply and demand will reach as much as 17 million kilowatts in the winter," Cheng said.

Zhejiang would suffer the most severe power shortage, where the gap could reach 8.8 million kilowatts, Cheng said. In Anhui, supply is expected to just about meet demand.

As the weather cools, people are using their air conditioners less and the pressure on power grids is beginning to ease.

But as facilities shut down for maintenance, the capacity to generate power has fallen in turn. Winter will add pressure on the supply as the need for heating grows in East China.

China has been failing to meet power demand since 2000. In 2002, 12 provincial grids had to restrict power supply in summer and winter. The following year, the figure grew to 23.

Engineers say there is simply not enough capacity to generate power in the country.

At the moment, China produces a thirteenth of the power per head that the US generates, one-eighth of that in Japan.

"China needs a total generation capacity of at least 1.5 billion kilowatts by 2010," said former minister of energy Huang Yicheng. Existing capacity by the end of last year was just 385 million kilowatts.

Zhao Xizheng, president of the State Grid Corp of China, said China is expected to keep a balance between power supply and demand in 2006.

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