The recent prolonged high temperatures in China have greatly increased electricity consumption. Jiangsu and other cities and provinces have ordered manufacturers in industrial and commercial zones to stop operating during hot days to let people use electricity. Despite this, China’s power supply is still tight. Sichuan’s electricity supplier has issued a notice that if the pressure on the power supply still cannot be reduced, the last resort is to cut off people’s electricity. 

According to NetEase on August 17, the Sichuan Dazhou Electric Power Corporation issued an “alternative (ordered) power cut notice” on the afternoon of July 16. Accordingly, the power cut of each line will last about two and a half hours.

The power company pointed out that as of August 7, due to various factors such as unusually high temperatures and an increasing shortage of power supplied to the province, and despite forcing industrial zones to stop production, the local power grid in Dazhou’s main urban area is still overloaded and undersupplied.

Luo Qiang, deputy governor of Sichuan province, also acknowledged that Sichuan had faced extreme heat for the past 60 years, and the province’s largest electricity load has reached record highs. The average rainfall decreased by 51% over the same period last year, and the water level at hydroelectric power stations fell to the lowest level in history. The amount of water from large river basins decreased sharply, affecting power generation at hydroelectric plants.

Sichuan is China’s largest hydropower province, but power supplies are tight, as it is facing potential concerns about water and power shortages.

According to Aboluowang, the person in charge of the Sichuan Provincial Energy Administration explained that water waste in Sichuan mainly occurs during the flood season. Wasted water is the amount of water that can be used for electricity generation but is not actually used due to various reasons.

The main cause of the power shortage is the lack of water, while there appears to be an abundance of water. This contradiction reflects structural problems of electricity supply and demand in Sichuan.

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