China's power shortages set to ease
Increasing hydropower output and slowing economy will help ease China's power shortages this summer.
Thiswasannounced by China's top planning agency, National Development and Reform Commission.
There may be a peak supply shortfall of 18 gigawatts, or a gap of less than 3 percent from the maximum load, said Lu Junling, a deputy inspector at NDRC.
Zhejiang, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces as well as Chongqing are likely to be the main affected regions.
But Lu warned that the smaller gap could prompt some companies in energy-intensive industries to expand quickly and this may overturn the situation, Lu said. He cited 2009 when China's power use fell in the first seven months but the year ended with a supply shortage of coal, power and oil.
A rise in hydropower output since April has cut demand for coal, the fuel that fires the majority of China's power plants, Lu said. Hydropower output rose 36 percent in May, slashing thermal coal demand by 8 million tons, he said.
Coal supplies at major power plants stood at 93.13 million tons as of Sunday, up 48.3 percent from a year earlier.