Australia used to be a big supplier of thermal coal to China but that has been cut off by China for political reasons. It would seem that replacement of the Australian coal from other sources has not been very successful
A widespread power crisis in China threatens to become the “new normal” as the country’s manufacturers and citizens alike face a potential cold, hard winter ahead.
Several of the country’s provinces have begun to ration power supplies in the face of shortage of coal supplies, increasing energy demands from manufacturers and consumers and tough emission standards.
China, which is increasingly dependent on coal, has ordered provinces to limit power consumption, as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics and strives to curb emissions.
This has led to unannounced power cuts for citizens in many provinces, who have taken to social media to complain about the lack of heating and public infrastructure, including lifts and traffic lights not working.
The most severe impact of the power crisis has been seen in the country’s northeastern industrial belt, comprising of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces.
Huludao city told residents to not use high energy-consuming electronics including microwaves and water heaters during peak periods, according to Reuters.
The immediate effects of the power crisis have echoed in industry as well. Key suppliers of Apple and Tesla halted production in some plants. Power-intensive sectors like aluminum smelting, cement manufacturing, steel making and fertiliser production have been hit as well. At least 15 Chinese companies that produce goods ranging from aluminum and chemicals, said their production was curbed by power cuts.
While the power crisis has taken its toll on citizens only this month, early indications of the crisis have been witnessed since March, which is when the country had begun witnessing spikes in power prices, reported Reuters.