China’s Electricity Council said the country may face power shortages of 30 million kilowatts during the summer so the government has moved quickly to put restrictions in place as the peak season approaches. Big industrial provinces such as Guangdong and Zhejiang are already scaling back power consumption. These reductions are likely to hinder aluminum, cement, zinc and steel output, according to Macquarie Commodities Research.
In addition, the National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) called a meeting this week of domestic coal suppliers such as Shenhua Energy and China Coal Energy to ensure stable supplies, the China Daily said.
Coal powers the Chinese economy. The country is the world’s largest consumer, gobbling up nearly half of the world’s coal consumption in 2009. Coal accounted for 71 percent of China’s energy in 2008—more than three times the United States’ share. The Electricity Council estimates that the country’s coal demand will reach 1.92 billion tons in 2011, up nearly 10 percent from 2010.