Cities Across China’s Industrial Heartland Now Rationing Power


Almost two dozen cities across China’s key industrial province of Guangdong are now rationing electricity to businesses as the global economic recovery and hot summer weather boost demand.

Some 21 municipalities in the southern province that’s home to almost 130 million people are limiting power use, China Southern Power Grid Co. said in a statement on WeChat. Electricity consumption in the grid operator’s five-province region is up 24% this year through May 29 from the same period in 2020 and surged to an all-time high on May 21.

Power hasn’t been affected for homes or public utilities, China Southern said. Businesses and factories have been hit, however, with some being forced to shut several days a week, constraining their ability to fulfill orders. Several have turned to buying portable generators to keep the lights on.

A resurgence in activity from the very businesses and factories now facing shortages is the main reason for the strong demand. High temperatures are also boosting air-conditioning demand, according to the grid manager, while low rainfall in Yunnan province means less hydropower supply.

China Southern didn’t specify which municipalities were rationing power. Chinese news site Jiemian reported curtailments in cities in Guangdong including Guangzhou, Foshan, Shantou and Dongguan.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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