Lights off in Shanghai Bund
China is facing rare hot, dry weather with record breaking temperatures and power shortages in many places.
Tencent reported that, on August 21, the Sichuan provincial government issued a notice launching its first emergency response. The local area is facing a severe situation due to the most extreme high temperature in history, low rainfall, and burden on the power sector has aggravated the situation between supply and demand on the power industry.
On the same day, the Guangming newspaper reported, the Shanghai municipal government issued a notice saying that, in order to fulfill requirements of the “Shanghai 2022 Peak Season Orderly Electricity Consumption Plan,” on August 22 and 23, all landscape lighting systems (including LED media screens) in areas including the Bund or Waitan waterfront area, north of the Bund, and the Lujiazui financial district along the Huangpu River will have power temporarily cut. It require relevant agenies and departments to comply.
Earlier, on August 14, NetEase said that the Sichuan Provincial Department of Economy and Information Technology and the Sichuan Provincial Electricity Company jointly issued an “urgent notice on the expanded scope of industrial enterprises giving electricity to the people.” It required that from August 15 to August 21 industries “give power to people” and suspend production.
However, according to netizens, not only industrial electricity but also commercial areas, like subways, office buildings, and even civil electricity have fallen prey to power outages during peak hours. Many in Sichuan do not dare set their air conditioners below 28 C (82 F), or even when the heat is unbearable, they cannot turn on the air conditioner because of the power outage.
These power outages also affect the automotive industry.
Tencent said that on August 17, a document circulating on social media showed that the Shanghai Municipal Economic and Information Technology Commission had submitted a document to the Sichuan provincial government, asking the province if they could continue to supply power to 16 auto parts companies located in the province, although there was no information previously that automakers encountered any interruptions. After the news broke, the commission confirmed that the text was real.
Dazhou cuts power daily without notice, the elderly afraid to use elevators
Sichuan has asked businesses to suspend production but still cannot guarantee people’s livelihood. Moreover, the city of Dazhou cuts power daily without notice, causing unforeseen problems for residents.
Dazhou announced on August 16 that if the strain on the power supply cannot be alleviated, daily power cuts will be implemented. Each line may be interrupted for two and a half hours. Since then, authorities have not announced a specific plan. However, according to local residents, the government has quietly stepped in, and the blackout last more than two and a half hours a day without notice. People do not know when the power will return.
According to Taiwan’s Central New Agency many netizens with IP addresses in Dazhou posted on Weibo for several days, complaining that the government announced tow-and-a-half-hour power cut just for the public to see but it’s not the actual situation. The reality is “2.5 hours straight,” and the power outage occurs during the day when the temperature exceeds 40 C (104 F). There is no fan to use.
The news agency quoted a netizen as saying that around Dazhou, the power cut lasted about six hours.
One netizen reported that the electricity at his home was off from 3 pm to 11 pm, and his grandparents’ house had no electricity from 8 am to 4 pm. Young people can handle it but the elderly can’t. An 80-year-old man is afraid to take the elevator because he fears being trapped due to unexpected power cuts. His sister, who lived alone upstairs, fell at night and had a long cut on her head. The next morning she was discovered and her family took her to the hospital.
This netizen also said that there are a few shopping centers in Dazhou have backup generators and the elderly and children were lying on the floor of the center. Since the escalator stopped working, some elderly climbed the high steps to find a cool place.
To appease public opinion, the Dazhou government recently opened a number of places to cool off in but it was just drop in the bucket.
As for the reason for the power shortage, officials mentioned high temperatures and a sharp drop in hydropower output.