To Further Curb Heavy Industries to Tackle Power Shortage
    2011-06-07 15:14:52      Web Editor: Mao

With the worst electricity shortages in years poised to grip China this summer, top planning officials are now suggesting that the country's reliance on energy consumption to fuel economic growth is one of the root causes.

CRI's He Fei has more.

Since May, many parts of China have been suffering through power shortages.

And the situation is only expected to get worse, given that power consumption here in China traditionally hits its peak in the summer months.

Jia Fusheng is with the National Development and Reform Commission.

"In the long run, as industrial production continues to grow rapidly and energy consumption reaches its peak in the summer, the contradiction between the supply and demand for electric power will become even worse. The supply of electricity, coal and processed crude oil will be at a tight balance in some regions."

Power generation here in China has so far this year grown by 13-percent over the same period last year.

However, that is still not enough to keep up with the ever-growing demand in this country.

The authorities also say high international oil prices and domestic inflation here in China are also adding to the power shortages.

The NDRC's Jia Fusheng is also pointing the finger at a slow-down in fuel imports, climate change and the continued rapid growth of the economy for the electricity crunch.

"The rapid economic growth is pushing energy consumption higher. In the first quarter, 28 provinces across the country have seen double-digit increases in their GDP growth, most of which is higher than their expected growth rates for the year. Certain high energy consumption industries are still growing too rapidly. The situation is not being effectively controlled."

The central authorities have been trying -- particularly in the last few years -- to change this country's development model away from the electricity-sucking heavy industries to a more consumer-driven growth model.

However, Li Yang with the National Development and Reform Commission, concedes that, so far, the plan isn't working as well as they would have hoped.

"Energy consumption is growing too quickly. It has already surpassed a reasonable level. We don't need this kind of unreasonable energy consumption caused by the uncontrolled economic growth. The power shortage we are facing now can be partly attributed to the uncontrolled growth of energy-intensive industries."

And while Li Yang is pressing to see China move away from heavy industry, he says areas including farming and finance, which are integral to people's daily lives, need to be given priority for electricity consumption.

To try to tackle the electricity shortage this year, the central authorities have already raised electricity prices for non-residential purposes in some regions here in China by nearly 17 yuan per thousand kilowatt hours.

For CRI, I'm He Fei.


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