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Summer heat pushes Shanghai power use to record
Reuters ^ | Tuesday, July 13, 2004 | Reuters

Posted on 07/13/2004 3:30:16 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

SHANGHAI — Electricity usage in Shanghai, China's financial hub, surged to a record 14.35 million kilowatt-hours on Monday as the city battled scorching weather and struggled to cope with power shortages, television said.

That level came dangerously close to the maximum the city can pump out at any given moment, and companies may be ordered to stagger their working hours if the crisis persists, Shanghai Television said.

Temperatures in the eastern metropolis soared to a high of 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit), and residents and offices turned up their air-conditioning to beat the summer heat, highlighting the risk of a looming power crunch.

Shanghai's historic waterfront Bund was plunged into darkness on Sunday after officials switched off the dazzling coloured night illuminations as temperatures soared above 35 degrees. Turning off landscape lighting around the city could save as much as 30,000 kilowatt-hours a day, the Shanghai Daily reported.

Shanghai is facing a power crisis just a year after a blistering heatwave last summer and resulting power shortages forced 1,000 firms, including multinationals such as Volkswagen AG (VOWG.DE) and Polaroid, to curtail output.

Economists say chronic power crunches are shaving one to 2 percentage points off nationwide economic growth. From Monday, 700 enterprises were asked to shift production to the evenings, although the television stressed that "essential" companies would not be affected.

"The city will consider more steps, including asking more companies to shift their operations to nonpeak hours, if the situation worsens," it said without elaborating.

That is bad news for multinationals in a city fighting to ensure smooth power flow to their operations during the summer.

Temperatures are not expected to rise to the highs of summer 2003, but demands on power consumption are increasing as the city races toward what could be its 13th year of double-digit growth. Across China, a booming economy has stretched energy resources, and officials expect a power deficit of some 40,000 megawatts this year — enough to power 40 million homes.

Shanghai, like much of China, is girding for more power shortages this summer. The city has increased power-generating capacity by more than 10 percent this year to try to stave off a shortage and plans to invest 20 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) to improve grid transmission.

To curb consumption, government buildings, malls, offices, hotels, and entertainment venues have been told to set their air-conditioning dials above 26 degrees Celsius. Bath houses and nightclubs will be banned from turning on air-conditioners before 4 p.m.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; economicgrowth; electricity; energy; oil
Get used to headlines like these and start to think about the implications.

I for one see two major implications. The first is that it could seriously impeded China's economic growth and therefore stall the global recovery.

The second is that it will force China to constantly look for new sources of energy. That will bring them into conflict with the US and other countries over oil.

I like Thomas Friedma's suggeestion that W. pull a Nixon and announce a program to work together with the Chinese to develop an alternative energy economy.

1 posted on 07/13/2004 3:30:17 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

These temperatures are nothing new for Shanghai. I spent part of the summer of 2001 in SH and the heat reached temps of 104F. It was miserable.


2 posted on 07/13/2004 6:22:09 AM PDT by Dr. Marten (I donated to the Democratic Party today, but I forgot to flush it down the toilet....)
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To: Dr. Marten

The temperatures no, the number of air conditioners, yes.


3 posted on 07/13/2004 7:07:12 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Tax Energy not Labour.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Air Cond. yes, but I was referring to the statement made in the article which referred to the temps as record highs.


4 posted on 07/13/2004 7:18:12 AM PDT by Dr. Marten (I donated to the Democratic Party today, but I forgot to flush it down the toilet....)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I would like to see the US looking and pushing to become energy independent. So we will not have to worry about being pitted against China for resources.


5 posted on 07/13/2004 7:25:03 AM PDT by PersonalLiberties
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