Enigin News - Chinese County uses Blackouts to Achieve Energy Saving Goal
IN ANPING County, Hebei province in North China, hospitals, schools, residents and even traffic lights have had their power cut or disrupted for almost 10 days in an effort to reduce energy.
In the past throughout China energy demand has often outstripped supply, leading to outages, but these latest outages in Anping highlight that China's energy efficiency drive can be distorted by local authorities, which can be beyond Beijing's influence.
As would be expected, the current outages in Anping county have given rise to many complaints, leading to promises from the local government of a steady supply being restored at least to the more important sites, such as hospitals, schools, traffic lights and street lighting.
Local Government officials claimed they were forced to introduce blackouts as their energy consumption was reduced by only 0.9 percent during the first half of the year, well short of their targeted reduction of 6.6 percent for this year.
The situation does not look any brighter during the second half of the year, despite the promises of local government, the local power authority is expecting new power restrictions alongside energy-saving initiatives to be added.
The recent measures that have produced so much consternation, generally 22 hour power outages every three days along with more draconian cuts mentioned previously, have not saved enough energy.
Pan Jiahua, a researcher with China Academy of Social Sciences told China National Radio:
"It was ridiculous (for Anping) to implement uniform power restrictions regardless of users, as the (central) government's intention was to improve efficiency,"
China pledged via its latest five year plan (2005-2010) to cut energy intensity by 20 percent within, instead in the first quarter they have seen a rise of 3.2 percent this year, after reductions for the past four years, putting their target in doubt.
Due to this setback China introduced strong measures to combat the energy-intensity rise and to reach their desired target, including the recently announced closure of outdated industrial sites and machinery along with increasing the energy prices substantially for firms who are heavy energy users.
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Sunday 5th September 2010