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China Faces a Severe Power Shortage

Central China Grid Company Limited, one of the five regional power plants of the State Grid Corporation of China, released an analysis stating that power shortages, which used to be seasonal, are becoming a year round problem. "[The Central China Grid] is at a critical turning point – seasonal and local power shortages now occur throughout the year and cover the entire region.” Rapid increases in consumption and an insufficient supply of coal are believed to be the root causes of the shortage. The Central China Grid covers the five provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Henan, Jianxi, and Sichuan and the city of Chongqing. In the past, the Central China region did not experience any problems with the supply of power during April and May. In 2010, restrictions on consumption [that were imposed during the winter] were lifted in February. In contrast, in 2011, the restrictions have remained in place through April. The analysis predicts a shortage of 8.22 million kilowatts for the summer of 2011.

Source: Xinhua, May 6, 2011