Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Drought roiling China’s already evaporating economy

 The southern -west part of Sacheon is expected to expand the closing of the factory until Thursday, due to the heat wave and drought, and the latest global supply chain is expected to come from a country where the crisis is affected.

Foreign producers, including Apple and Toyota, and Chinese solar energy cell producers planned to resume production on Sunday after six days of closing. However, the local government declared a level 1 emergency and ordered the factory closed due to the inclement weather on Sunday.

About 16,500 businesses in Sichuan province were affected by power shortages after reservoir water levels dropped and hydropower production in the province was cut in half. Some Chinese media have said the problem could lead to more factory shutdowns in cities along the industry-rich east coast, but scientists believe a nationwide blackout last September will not be repeated this year.

Over the past two decades, China has built hydroelectric, wind and solar power plants in the western region to provide cheap electricity to industrial cities in the eastern region. Sichuan Province is located in the upper Yangtze River and has about 1,400 tributaries, so to supply 80% of its electricity consumption, many hydroelectric power plants were built and the surplus electricity was sold to neighboring provinces.

While much of the world is suffering from July's heat and dry weather, reservoirs in Sichuan are down 40 percent in July and 50 percent in August compared to a year ago. Sichuan State Power Company announced that its capacity has been cut in half due to recent hot weather and drought.

The National Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has issued a red high temperature warning for at least four provinces that have recorded temperatures above 40°C for 28 consecutive days in the past 48 hours. .. between July 20 and August 17. From June 1 through August, the average number of days with high temperatures across the country was 12, the most since 1961. Typically, that figure is about seven days, the CMA says. On August 14, the Sichuan government ordered the closure of all factories and the shutdown of air conditioning in malls and public facilities between August 15 and 20 to prioritize local residents receiving electricity. On Sunday, it extended the closing date to August 25. Factories affected last week, according to media reports, include Taiwanese giant Foxconn, which makes iPads and Apple watches, and BOE Technology Group Co Ltd, a supplier of LCD and OLED flat panels for Apple. Japan's Toyota said it would be difficult to sell in mainland China unless production resumed. IT columnist Yuan Xilai said in an article on Saturday that the shutdown of Sichuan-based solar manufacturers including Tongwei, Contemporary Amperex Technology, JinkoSolar and GCL New Holding could disrupt global supply chains. Yuan said it was difficult for Sichuan to diversify into solar and wind power in the short term or rely on coal power. Li Junfeng, board member of the China Energy Research Society, told Yicai.com that it is not normal for the water level of the Yangtze River to drop significantly between late July and early August. Between November and April. . Lee said it was the fastest dry season since records began in 1951. Li said it is difficult for other regions to transfer electricity back to Sichuan because the power grid is designed and built to transfer excess power from Sichuan to other provinces.

He said that in a place where wind, solar and hydro are heavily dependent on electricity, its power can easily affect the weather. He said more energy storage facilities should be built to stabilize Sichuan's energy supply.

Sichuan Province and the neighboring Chongqing city experienced another extreme weather event in the summer of 2020 during the flooding of the Yangtze River. The disaster affected many residential and agricultural areas downstream and slightly deformed the 2.4km Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River in Hubei Province.

Water Minister Li Guoying said on Saturday that a drought in the southwest region and hot weather in China will continue next week. Li said the government has formed a drought response task force to provide water to cities along the Yangtze River. At the same time, he said, heavy rains will cause flooding in the northwest and upper reaches of the Yellow River, he said. According to media reports last week, parts of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces ordered factories to partially shut down production to conserve electricity. It is unclear whether the order will be extended. Jin Xiangdong, spokesman for the National Development and Reform Commission, said on August 16 that the decline in hydropower production would create additional demand for coal-fired power.

Currently, China produces 60% of its electricity by burning coal. In July, electricity production increased by 4.5% year and coal production increased by 5.3%.

In September last year, China was influenced by the national energy crisis, and the power plant was devoid of the market stimulus in the middle of coal and electricity. For several months, the central government has stabilized for several months by stimulating domestic coal reserves and stimulating price hikes.

He said the university is a member of Gian University, Renmin and all state power engineering and all state power committees, and the government must follow Sichuan's electrical deficiency issues and regularly increase the number of coal suppliers.

Read more: https://asiatimes.com/2022/08/drought-roiling-chinas-already-evaporating-economy/

Drought roiling China’s already evaporating economy

 The southern -west part of Sacheon is expected to expand the closing of the factory until Thursday, due to the heat wave and drought, and t...