Wen highlights power demand control


Updated Mon, 02 Aug 2004 00:00:00 GMT

 All-out efforts should be made by all localities and departments to ease the summer power shortage problem, and controlling electricity demand should be the priority in solving the problem, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao here Monday.

 Wen made the remark when inspecting the State Power Distribution Center. "It is an arduous task and of great responsibility for the government to solve the power problem this summer," he said.

    A total of 24 provincial areas imposed power brownouts in the past few months. China predicts a total gap of about 30 million kw between electricity demand and supply this summer. It is the most severe power shortage since the 1980s, the State Grid Corporation of China (SG) announced.

    "Despite the rare high-speed growth of power supply in the first half of this year, the faster electricity demand still outruns the supply increase," Wen said, noting the power shortage problem is especially serious in east, south and north China regions.

    "The central government has taken the alleviation of supply shortage of coal, oil, electricity and transport service as an important task in the economic macro control," he said.

    Wen put the enhancement of management over the power demand as the priority among some solutions to the power shortage problem.

    Power consumption by power-intensive and low-efficiency industries should be strictly restricted, and power supply to enterprises with serious pollution and conflicting state industrial policies should be halted, he said, underscoring differentiated electricity prices at different times.

    Beijing is to introduce differential seasonal electricity prices as of this year with the prices to go up 11 percent in peak hours in the third quarter, a move designed to ensure stable power supply, according to a price adjustment plan approved by the State Development and Reform Commission. 

    "Power supply for people's daily life, agricultural production,and key sectors including hospitals, schools, financial institutions, traffic centers, vital projects and high-technology enterprises should be ensured," he said.

    He called for an increase of power supply through all-out efforts. "Water resources should be utilized to the utmost extent for power generation," he said, hoping the coal prices and electricity prices will fluctuate simultaneously.

    Power distribution should be carried out in line with open, fair and just principles to make full use of existing power supply facilities, he said.

    He also called for further power saving, enhancement of power production safety and improvement of power supply services.

    Shanghai has planned to turn off lighting for all landscapes at night to conserve energy as the maximum temperature in the city reaches or exceeds 35 degrees Celsius this summer.

    Some 90,000 lights illuminating buildings along Chang'an Avenue in downtown Beijing have been changed into energy-saving ones in abid to reduce electricity consumption, according to reports.