President of China, Xi Jinping arrives in London, 19 October 2015. By Foreign and Commonwealth Office (China State Visit) [CC BY 2.0 or OGL], via Wikimedia Commons

China Suffers Widespread Power Blackout Chaos as Strict Climate Targets Bite

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Vuk; Xi Jinping’s attempt to force China to hit unrealistic emissions cuts, ahead of the COP26 climate conference, has caused power blackout chaos throughout China, as cities switch off their coal plants rather than risk breaching central government quotas. The electricity supply crisis is affecting US companies which have outsourced some of their manufacturing to China.

China’s electricity crunch causes widespread power outages, hitting homes and closing factories

Global shoppers face possible shortages of smartphones and other goods ahead of Christmas after power cuts to meet official energy use targets forced Chinese factories to shut down and left some households in the dark.

Key points:

  • China is facing widespread power shortages after vowing to cut its energy intensity to meet climate goals
  • Widening power shortages have halted production at numerous factories during one of their busiest seasons 
  • The fallout has prompted some analysts to downgrade their 2021 growth outlook 

In the north-eastern city of Liaoyang, 23 people were hospitalised with gas poisoning after ventilation in a metal casting factory was shut off following a power outage, according to state broadcaster CCTV. No deaths were reported.

Factories were idled to avoid exceeding limits on energy use imposed by Beijing to promote efficiency.

Economists and an environmental group say manufacturers used up this year’s quota faster than planned as export demand rebounded from the coronavirus pandemic.

Fallout expected to impact GDP 

The disruption to China’s vast manufacturing industries during one of their busiest seasons reflects the ruling Communist Party’s struggle to balance economic growth with efforts to rein in pollution and emissions of climate-changing gases.

“Beijing’s unprecedented resolve in enforcing energy consumption limits could result in long-term benefits, but the short-term economic costs are substantial,” Nomura economists Ting Lu, Lisheng Wang and Jing Wang said in a report.

Power pinch unlikely to abate ahead of climate talks 

The crunch comes as global leaders prepare to attend a UN environmental conference by video link on October 12-13 in the south-western city of Kunming.

That increases pressure on President Xi Jinping’s government, as the meeting’s host, to show it is sticking to emissions and energy efficiency targets.

Energy quotas nearing exhaustion

Some provinces used up most of their quotas for energy consumption in the first half of the year and are cutting back to stay under their limits, according to Li Shuo, a climate policy expert at Greenpeace in Beijing.

Utility companies, meanwhile, are being squeezed by soaring coal and gas prices.

That discourages them from increasing output because the government limits their ability to pass on costs to customers, said Mr Li.

Read more:

The power supply crunch is hitting US firms which outsourced their manufacturing to China, with Tesla and Apple component manufacturers reportedly forced to stop manufacturing due to power cuts.

China rocked by power crunch as Apple and Tesla suppliers suspend work

By Will Feuer

China is grappling with growing power shortages, prompting many factories — including suppliers to Apple, Tesla and other major global companies — to curb or suspend operations. 

The power crunch comes as strict orders from Beijing to cut emissions collide with surging coal and gas prices as well as rising demand for electricity.

Apple supplier Unimicron Technology said that three of its China subsidiaries stopped production from midday Sunday and won’t resume until midnight on Sept. 30 in order to comply with local regulations.

Read more:

This is not the first time Xi Jinping’s market interventions have caused energy supply chaos in China. In 2017, China’s botched attempt to convert cities from coal to gas led to widespread blackouts during a bitter winter. The reason? Bureaucrats put hitting gas conversion Xi Jinping’s central targets first, ahead of rational considerations, like whether the gas would be available in time to pump through pipelines to their converted home heating systems.

I’m not blaming the bureaucrats. When the boss can have you shot, and when questioning your orders could be a shooting offence, prudence dictates you do what you are told, even if your instructions don’t make sense.

China’s domestic coal price rise, another factor in the power supply crisis, was likely caused by Xi Jinping’s ban on Aussie coal imports – his punishment for Australia for objecting to Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea.

The coal import ban did not stop the flow of Australian coal to China. All it did was force Chinese companies to purchase Australian coal through expensive intermediaries, to disguise the true origin of their coal purchases.

Australian domestic climate policy has not helped the situation. Australian banks and government planning authorities have been obstructing Aussie coal field development, which has exacerbated the supply crunch.

Australia’s Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has been pushing for Australia to embrace more aggressive climate policies, which may be discouraging coal investment. Josh thinks the decline of the Aussie coal industry is a good thing.

China’s Power Regulator has just now ordered utilities to stockpile coal, but this order may have come too late to prevent the current power supply crisis from worsening. Chinese companies currently have low inventories of coal, so it would take days, if not weeks, to repair those inventories, assuming they can find a supply of coal in an already tight market. It seems likely Chinese coal users have been running down their inventories in the hope that Xi Jinping would relax his ban on Aussie coal imports, which would allow them to restock their inventories at a lower price. But so far there is no sign the ban will be relaxed, so the game of paying a premium to intermediaries, so Xi Jinping can pretend on the world stage that China does not need Aussie coal, looks set to continue.

What can I say? If China, the world centre for manufacturing solar panels and wind turbine components, can not switch off their fossil fuel plants without chaos and massive power supply disruption, there is no chance anyone else can make it work.

There is another lesson which China should surely have learned by now. Don’t mess with the free market.

Xi Jinping’s push to assert Communist Party control over the Chinese economy, through more central planning, and through his heavy handed climate policy and import ban directives, is pushing the Chinese economy in the wrong direction.

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September 28, 2021 2:09 pm

Two lessons…. 1. Until reliable and affordable backup to fossil fuels is found it’s business as usual unless no energy is acceptable. 2. Marxist dogma always loses.

Reply to  markl
September 28, 2021 5:35 pm

lol, no.

China has run out of fuel. These aren’t “climate targets” they’re lack of coal.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 28, 2021 6:47 pm

Quite right. Australia wanted a deeper investigation into Covid in Wuhan. China stopped buying the hard coal that China lacks. China tries to show the world they are working on CO2 while in real life they don’t give a rat’s ass. I believe that it was Shenzhen that they put lights along a highway with what looked like wind generators on top. The “generators” had motors that kept the blades turning. Typical China. They want the rest of the world to destroy their economies to save the planet. I believe that the city of Liaoying that Eric mentions is the province of Liaoning. The capitol is Shenyang along with another city nearby had had power cuts. My wife is from east of the capitol, Benxi. Benxi is the city that was known as the city that disappeared from satellite photographs. China is at the top of the list of Asian countries where “saving face” can be more important than family. China never wants to look bad or be wrong. People can’t comprehend the enormity of their propaganda machine. They have a foot in universities around the world. They fund environmental NGO’s and use people and firms that try to sway government policy and laws. Look at the influence that they have with many American companies.

Rational Db8
Reply to  Ric Haldane
September 28, 2021 8:02 pm

You are so right! China doesn’t give a rip about climate – further disrupting supply chains right now will help boost their own party control while hurting the rest of the world even more, especially the western world. They’ve benefited tremendously from covid, now they’re simply going to pile on more supply chain problems to keep things going, keep boosting themselves over the rest of the world. They also don’t give a rip if their own people suffer in the process. It’s truly amazing just how differently they view the world compared to us.

Reply to  Rational Db8
September 29, 2021 1:35 am

I partly disagree. China doesn’t give a rip about climate is correct.
But disrupting supply chains is not part of their strategy, it’s a side effect. China under Xi is just again a top-> down dictatorship like in old times under Mao. Xis orders are executed without questioning or hesistancy, otherwise it would cost your job or even life. Xi wants to have blue skies for Olympic Winter Games -> we shut-down polluting plans immediately no matter what it costs them, or how it disrupts supply chains. Xi sets targets for energy -> they have to be reached. No matter what it costs. It’s like in the old days where Mao ordered to kill sparrows, because he identified them as one of the four “pests”.
That’s China. A communist dictatorship without any legal security. If the communist leader, or party orders something, no Chinese Court will object and treaties are worthless within seconds.
That’s China. Western companies just tried to forget it for the sake of high profit and outsorced lots of processes to China. It worked as long as there were leaders in charge who had a sense for free market economy. But Xi IMHO is a old style Mao communist who believes in planned communist economy, direct rule and doesn’t give a sh*t on capitalism and free market.

Reply to  Rational Db8
September 29, 2021 3:49 am

You are so right! China doesn’t give a rip about climate

Yes, there is the tendency for everyone to read what they want into this and harp on about their own biased ideas.

It needs to be remembered that these are COAL quotas not “carbon” quotas. China is trying to reduce dependency on coal ( in particular, output from older low tech power plants ) to reduce REAL airborne pollution in their cities which has REAL health effects.

They are retiring a lot of badly designed old plant as newer, cleaner coal fired plant comes on line.

They will likely spin this as “reducing carbon” to scam the climate scammers at COP26 and likely get paid some free money for their righteous efforts.

I think we can count on China feeding the world’s plants for sometime to come. They are just promising to get kWh for their kg of coal, while burning ever more of it.

Reply to  Ric Haldane
September 28, 2021 8:20 pm

They also kept the lights on and equipment running in their factories in the early Wuhan Flu days to give the illusion that their factories were still producing during the lockdowns.

Reply to  Ric Haldane
September 29, 2021 12:25 am

Where do you get the idea that China lacks hard coal???

Stop rectally deriving stuff you wish was true.

Reply to  Dean
September 29, 2021 8:24 am

The fact that have to import huge amounts of it from Australia?

Rational Db8
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 28, 2021 7:58 pm

China hasn’t run out of fuel at all – they’ve got vast untapped resources, but won’t bother using them so long as they can buy elsewhere reasonably. This energy “problem” is going to be yet another win for them, just as covid has been. It’s going to further disrupt supply chains, and hurt the rest of the world far more than it’ll hurt the CCP. China doesn’t give a rip about the well being of it’s people – they only care about the power of the party and anything which keeps them in power, and strengthens them compared to the rest of the world, especially compared to the USA. Right now they’ve got a number of major problems looming – possible financial recession, major demographic problems, etc.

See the September 22, 2021, article; China’s Likely Path When its ‘Lehman Brothers Moment’ Arrives, bAaron Hirschi

Right now, things which help boost them compared to us and the rest of the west, and give them a distraction for their people, helps keep them in power. They don’t care if it hurts many of their own people. Nor do they give a rip about anthropogenic global warming and climate issues. It’s all games to save face, boost their own political power, etc.

Vincent Causey
Reply to  Rational Db8
September 29, 2021 12:00 am

Won’t all this chaos drive manufacturing back to the US?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Vincent Causey
September 30, 2021 11:35 am

Not if the Climate Nazis continue to have power here. I’m thinking Africa may be the last best hope for manufacturing, but only in areas that are politically stable.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 28, 2021 7:59 pm

Lack of coal from political manipulation, some of it to “climate signal” for COP26 and some to punish Australia.

very old white guy
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 29, 2021 4:20 am

We have lots of coal in Canada that we are not using. I wonder if they are aware of that?

Bob Hunter
Reply to  very old white guy
September 30, 2021 8:38 am

Except 90% of Canada’s Thermal coal is located in Alberta & Sask. But PM Trudeau is shutting down the thermal coal mines. However, PM Trudeau & BC Premier Horgan have no problem with 11 million tones Wyoming/Montana thermal coal leaving Vancouver BC for Asia.

To quote Yakoff Smirnoff: “what a country”.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bob Hunter
September 30, 2021 11:36 am

And they just voted Trudope in again. Ugh!

michael hart
Reply to  Prjindigo
September 29, 2021 10:16 am

Such is my suspicion, Prjindigo. I also trust ABC and Greenpeace to give me accurate unbiased reporting of facts about as much as I trust the Chinese Communist Party to do the same.

I also recall some environmental window-dressing that was done around the time of the Peking Olympics in 2008. Then it was back to pollution as normal. Their problem then, as now, was not carbon dioxide but other, genuine pollution. Industries often forced out of Western nations by excessive regulation being welcomed into China with almost no regulation.

Well done, greenies. Your junior high-school level economics has made the world more polluted, not less.

Reply to  Prjindigo
September 29, 2021 5:59 pm

Of China’s 31 provincial jurisdictions, 20 have been forced to implement electricity-rationing measures–and it’s only September, when demand is low.

Reply to  markl
September 29, 2021 12:13 am

It is hard to tell which one is the main reason, the lack of coal or the goal of carbon neutrality, but the current coal shortage is much more serious than the last timeYunhe Hou

Reply to  markl
September 29, 2021 8:01 am

One of the victims: bitcoin. The “mining process” took too much electricity.

September 28, 2021 2:09 pm

This is how and why the old USSR failed, they had to please their bosses or be removed and even killed for “failing” to meet some arbitrary targets.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 28, 2021 2:55 pm

Exactly so. This is the route God-Emperor Xi has chosen too. It won’t end well.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 28, 2021 4:38 pm

“They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work” was a popular joke with workers in the Soviet Union. The salary was always small, so workers didn’t have an incentive to work hard. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1965:

“A popular joke in Hungary sums it up: The factory worker says: ‘They pretend to pay us an honest wage and we pretend to do an honest day’s work.’”

The Big Apple: “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work” (Soviet joke) (

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 28, 2021 8:00 pm

Meet the Five-Year Plan, no matter the damage.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 29, 2021 1:39 am

Absolutely true. Also in USSR meet the set target of the ZK was the most important thing. In years with poor harvest the farmers for example were shoveling tons of dirt into the grain to meet the requested target in tons. That’s why communist planned economy doesn’t work. It eliminates the “price” as central steering instrument of an self adjusting economy and sets stupid targets which need to be reached.

Robert of Texas
September 28, 2021 2:14 pm

What is so ironic about all this is they don’t really care about pollution or CO2, they care about their world image.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 28, 2021 3:51 pm

Wasn’t there a large solar farm array sited beside a highway on the way from an airport somewhere in China that, when checked, wasn’t actually connected to any distribution network?

Impressed all the international visitors though.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Mr.
September 28, 2021 4:52 pm

Lot’s of those in China, both wind and solar until 2020, with the pending end of subsidies arriving in 2021, connections were prioritized. That’s why 2020- August 1, 2021 saw a big surge in capacity addition. Now that onshore utility scale wind and solar subsidies have ended, so has further expansion.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 28, 2021 5:59 pm

Where is Griff to tell them all they need to do is build lots and lots of Wind Turbines :=)

Bryan A
September 28, 2021 2:21 pm

I’m entertaining bets on whether it was the American Sector of manufacturing in China that got curtailed or if Chinese owned factories were also affected

I put ¥ on mainly the American Sector … Apple, Tesla, etc.

Reply to  Bryan A
September 28, 2021 3:07 pm

A good reason for them to move there manufacturing elsewhere.
The term home goal comes to mind

Brooks H Hurd
Reply to  H B
September 28, 2021 7:23 pm

They could home but after the far left tax hikes they will lose the financial incentives to stay in business.

Reply to  Brooks H Hurd
September 28, 2021 8:01 pm

try India Indonesia or some where else

Reply to  H B
September 28, 2021 9:51 pm

I never understood the huge push to offshore manufacturing to the brutal communist dictatorship of China, instead of the democracies in India and Indonesia – idiot capitalists really will sell you the rope to hang them with, and give you low lease rates on the gallows!

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  PCman999
September 29, 2021 3:43 am

I’m not sure I’d included Indonesia for the long term. Aren’t they increasingly applying Sharia Law despite having significant Christian and Buddhist minorities?

Don Perry
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 29, 2021 5:39 am

And I would discourage any business with India until they do something about those predatory, scamming call centers that disrupt my life with dozens of daily phone calls.

Reply to  Bryan A
September 28, 2021 5:21 pm

Nope, I am managing a Ni alloy foundry in Anhui and we can only run our casting furnaces from 23:00 to 13:00. Chinese owned company supplying the state and private companies worldwide.
Typical top down idiocy though, in our case it would be much more efficient to work 24/3 and keep the furnaces hot and under vacuum then swich everything off Thursday lunchtime

Reply to  andic
September 28, 2021 9:54 pm

Reason and logic have no place in the energy transition – you have to shut down when demand is high and the wind turbines perform better at night

Reply to  Bryan A
September 28, 2021 8:25 pm

The climate explanation seems too idiotic to take seriously, not even Gov. Newsom would be that stupid. For some reason (as yet to be understood) Xi is putting a brake on the economy.

This sounds a bit more plausible:

America Has Lost The Trade War With China, And The Real Pain Has Yet To Begin

China is laying siege to the USA by slowing down production and delivery of goods. It doesn’t take much to hang up US production, just one missing item can do it. So much stuff is sourced through China they can affect all supply chains. Semiconductors are just the canary–because the chains are so long and complex, and specialized materials are required, etc. But it is happening everywhere.

I have a little manufacturing company and I am seeing this in supply lines. I sent an order to China for printed circuit boards (US prices are astronomical because of various factors). They don’t get back for a week, then they quote, then I send money, then they sit on it, then I call and they say they are having problems with some process… etc. But all the suppliers are like this, it is not an isolated incident. They are sandbagging.

As prices rise the Chinese manufacturers take bigger profits so the slowdown effects on that end are mitigated. For products they do not have a monopoly on, like PC boards, they slow down. for things like LCD displays and NFeB magnets, the items become unavailable (try buying magnets on Amazon).

 have to say this is a brilliant idea on China’s part, and no one on this side has realized the situation yet. This plan is straight out of Sun-Tzu.

I posted a parody some months ago that the Blue States could solve the climate crisis in a stroke, by blackening themselves out on the weekends, which would result in an immediate ~25% drop in CO2 emissions.

Maybe Xi read my post and thought I was serious? (lol)

James H
Reply to  Anon
September 28, 2021 11:19 pm

I have had a hard time believing the stories about why there is an automotive chip shortage. Supposedly all car manufacturers cancelled their orders during the height of Covid and now are terribly backlogged. The decision by the auto CEO’s has totally crushed their companies and industry, but has anyone been fired? That’s odd if not.

Serge Wright
September 28, 2021 2:23 pm

This is BS politics being played out. Xi is shutting down industry in an attempt to get the west to all commit net zero suicide, by believing China has intentions to act. Even your average fool can see through this layer of BS. As soon as the commitments are locked-in, then it will be back to full FF BAU.

Reply to  Serge Wright
September 28, 2021 5:36 pm

Lack of coal to generate power with. China’s internal coal is so nasty that it can kill children who just play with it. The imported coal was powering plants upwind of cities.

Reply to  Prjindigo
September 28, 2021 11:03 pm

“kill children”…Really? Do you have a reference for that?

China has lots of great coal ranging from anthracite to lignite. I’ve seen it underground in their (admittedly backward and unsafe) mines. They just want to use ours and keep theirs in reserve for when the big crunch comes.

Reply to  Prjindigo
September 29, 2021 12:36 am

Stop making up stuff.

Like most other countries China has a very wide range of different quality coal, from very high grade, to low grade. I have seen donkeys munching on very low rank coal there.

China has huge reserves of coal. the biggest issue is internal transportation getting the coal from the north west to the generators on the eastern seaboard.

Reply to  Serge Wright
September 28, 2021 5:50 pm

Only problem is their own economy is now on the brink and has investors spooked

Dave Fair
Reply to  Serge Wright
September 28, 2021 8:04 pm

You are expecting locked-in commitments from COP26? See Josh’s ongoing COP “money” funny. Joe is demented enough to believe he can commit the U.S. House of Representatives to spending on the UN Climate Fund.

Reply to  Dave Fair
September 28, 2021 10:01 pm

Yes the COP26 commitments will be a joke, but it’s a propaganda exercise – notice how the rhetoric gets evermore stupid and desperate? How non-techies start wetting themselves when they hear that an degree will riun the world? What’s going to happen in 10 years to the populace after all that brainwashing?

Dave Fair
Reply to  PCman999
September 28, 2021 11:11 pm

Yellow vests.

Seriously, though, voters will rebel at the price tag, no matter how artfully concealed.

James H
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 28, 2021 11:23 pm

Joe is definitely demented, but he just signs the papers. He doesn’t know what they say. His handlers write them up and put them in front of him. If he doesn’t go along, he’ll be “in trouble”. Who are the handlers? Is the president in charge of the White House or is the White House in control?

D. J. Hawkins
September 28, 2021 2:27 pm

I don’t know why Xi cares what the West thinks of him. Really, what are the Caspar Milquetoasts in the US, EU, and UK going to do if he disappoints them?

I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around Xi putting a wrench into China’s economy like this. It’s a report I’d expect from The Onion or the Babylon Bee.

Intelligent Dasein
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
September 28, 2021 3:32 pm

Fully agree. I can’t for the life of me understand why Xi would suddenly start giving a tinker’s damn about climate pseudoscience. There has to be something else going here.

George Daddis
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
September 28, 2021 4:59 pm

Could it be that payments to “undeveloped countries” could be at risk? – and of course China is considered by the UN to be n the “undeveloped” group.

Rational Db8
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
September 28, 2021 8:08 pm

He doesn’t give a rip about climate change – putting a crimp in the supply chain will hurt the rest of the world, especially the western world and the USA far more than it’ll hurt the communist party in China – so they stand to gain ground with this move. It benefits them overall. They don’t give a rip how many of their own people it hurts – it’s an excuse, a distraction for those people, while helping the CCP gain power relative to the rest of the world. Just like they benefitted greatly from covid, because all the lockdowns and extreme measures taken by other nations hurts those nation’s governments and economy, while China has in fact made out like bandits from it, with tons of foreign money pouring in to get medicines/medical supplies, etc.

Reply to  Rational Db8
September 29, 2021 12:57 am

From my conversations with Chinese clients the ONLY thing the CCP cares about is maintaining power and social cohesion is a critical part of that.

The pact they make with their people is that there is absolutely no political freedom, but the pay off is that you will be have significant economic freedom to make money. Smashing their own people’s ability to have economic freedom by willingly limiting energy is not what the pact promised.

Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
September 28, 2021 8:23 pm

“Climate” is just a handy cover for the lack of fuel for the energy to feed The Beast.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
September 29, 2021 3:59 am

There has to be something else going here.

I would stress that “here” by focusing it geographically: “here” is not in China, but in the rest of the world (mainly the champions of climate alarmism, the EU, and the current USA administration). I would also center that focus on Australia’s home politics: this article is based (through a cascade of references) in an article published in an Australian newspaper that gives NO CREDIBLE references for its assertions: it starts with some hospitalized people due to a “blackout” caused by a “shut off” of its ventilating system; but NO relation of this “shut off” of a part of an industrial plant is established with the enforcement of central government quotas (any responsible manager would stop the whole factory, not parts of it that are critical for the rest). This asserted relation with the centar policy will drive the development of the news article in a cascade of speculations, which bases are NOT disclosed (only a not referenced “report” of two “Nomura economists”: argument of authority?…). Only near the end of the article is cited a “source”: surprisingly (or not so much), a “climate policy expert at Greenpeace in Beijing”.

All this is rather foggy, not enough to make me believe a single word.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
September 28, 2021 4:57 pm

“I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around Xi putting a wrench into China’s economy like this.”

Me, too.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 28, 2021 7:27 pm

The CCP does not care about the Chinese people. This is about power. Something like 30% of the GDP supports the CCP. The poverty threshold was lowered so it looks looks poverty was eliminated.If you want to know about the real China look on youtube at:ADVchina, China Uncensored, TFI Global, and WION.

September 28, 2021 2:31 pm

And if someone complains they’ll simply disappear. No wonder Trudeau admires China’s ‘basic dictatorship’.

Rud Istvan
September 28, 2021 2:32 pm

Ironic that China’s attempt to headfake COP26 has backfired so badly so quickly. COP26 would have failed even without this extra impetus. Gutierrez already said so, Greta is already whining about it in advance, and Tuvalu wants to sue everybody for its ‘missing’ climate reparation dollars that COP26 will NOT deliver.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 28, 2021 5:37 pm

Is Tuvalu building an airport too?

September 28, 2021 2:42 pm

No this is not CCP greenwashing for COP26.

This is punitive border war with Australia (instead of Vietnam) where China again has the greater cost.

September 28, 2021 2:43 pm

In 2003, China’s CO2 production surpassed the EU and in 2006 surpassed the US. Now they’re about 3X the EU and 2X the US.

I thought that the Paris Accord promise from China was to reduce their emissions after 2030, I should review that.

This should work.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 28, 2021 5:05 pm

Eric, I have an EE degree, therefore I’m fond of exponential curves.

I checked the log plot and nearly commented on it – straight line since 1906 with two glitches. I expected to see waffling until China became manufacturer for the rest of the world, then a steep straight line. That’s incredible given the massive upheavals in Chinese history over that period.

Yeah, China gets to live through some “interesting times.” Again.

Reply to  Ric Werme
September 28, 2021 3:01 pm

Yeah, from 2015 in

China is aiming to peak its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions “around 2030” and will make “best efforts” to peak early, its climate pledge to the UN confirms.

China’s intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) includes a new target to reduce its carbon intensity by 60-65% of 2005 levels by 2030. Carbon Brief analysis suggests the top end of this range would see CO2 peaking in 2027. China also says it will source 20% of its energy in 2030 from low-carbon sources.

Carbon intensity appears to be the amount of carbon need to create one “unit” of GDP.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ric Werme
September 28, 2021 8:10 pm

Since the ChiComs can still build nukes and large hydroelectric projects, they might have a chance at that.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Ric Werme
September 30, 2021 11:54 am

Yes, the “talk” of “reductions” is recent (post Paris “climate deal”) and as far as I’m concerned is just Xi’s way of trying to get “western” nations to take that last step off the cliff economically, after which these announced “goals” will be forgotten.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Ric Werme
September 30, 2021 11:48 am

I believe it was that China’s emissions would PEAK at 2030. No mention of “reductions” whatsoever.

Rory Forbes
September 28, 2021 2:49 pm

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Therefore, all socialists are insane … Xi even more so.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 28, 2021 5:45 pm

If Xi is motivated by power, I’m not sure he would do anything different even with the threat of unrest. He’s in charge and disappears billionaires at his will.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Scissor
September 28, 2021 6:21 pm

It’s fairly clear the guy is a sociopath, simply from the actions we can see. Elsewhere on this thread there is some information on Xi’s possible motivations, connected with Mao’s treatment of his father. (see Eric Worrall’s post, below … there’s a link)

He has an agenda. That’s obvious and it doesn’t bode well for the West. How far he will take it after absorbing Taiwan I don’t know. As it now stands, he’s a loose cannon because he’s getting backed into a corner. He’s no Deng, that’s for sure.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 29, 2021 1:52 am

Ever learn to juggle?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Jit
September 29, 2021 11:15 am

Ever learned to ask a meaningful question?

J Mac
September 28, 2021 2:50 pm

Is this April Fools Day? If not, don’t anyone try to stop Xi from further ‘command’ wreckage! Apple’s and Tesla’s China manufacturing Ops getting pasted at the same time is just a bonus!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  J Mac
September 28, 2021 5:35 pm

“Then, gentlemen,” said Napoleon, “let us wait a little; when your enemy is executing a false movement, never interrupt him.”

Xi suffers from a severe case of hubris. He imagines that he is facing the same Chinese people that Mao managed to fool. They are not gullible peasants any longer.

September 28, 2021 2:52 pm

Australia must publicly apologize to China and send a free shipment of coal. That’s how it works. The U.S. just sends planeloads of cash.

Thomas Gasloli
September 28, 2021 2:56 pm

Could not happen to a more deserving country.

Izaak Walton
September 28, 2021 2:59 pm

I am curious about the statement “ Don’t mess with the free market.” When has China ever had a free market to mess with?

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 28, 2021 3:41 pm

There are degrees of freedom.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 28, 2021 6:54 pm

Eric, It is much worse than that. Xi has started a second Cultural Revolution. He wants western influence out of China. The days of Mao appear to be returning.

September 28, 2021 3:02 pm

I have a theory. The dummies end up on top. Why? Because they can be manipulated by the puppeteers.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  pochas94
September 28, 2021 4:00 pm

Theory was already articulated. Everyone rises to their level of incompetence. There are no puppeteers.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 28, 2021 5:33 pm

The ‘Peter Principle’.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 29, 2021 2:59 am

The “puppeteers” are those who shower boons on corrupt politicians which enables them.

Reply to  pochas94
September 29, 2021 3:06 am

Enables them, and serves the interest of the puppeteer, which is anonymous but overriding political power.

Tom Halla
September 28, 2021 3:04 pm

I am surprised that the CCP would actually do something to placate the climate change fanatics besides words.
The hissy fit with Australia seems to be much more the cause of the power shortages than any desire of the Chinese to suck up to the West.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 28, 2021 5:53 pm

It’s called the law of unintended consequences. In XI mind he would not accept coal Australia would suffer and crawl back to apologize …. reality was the coal was eagerly taken by other countries and Australia laughed that a nation would do that to itself.

Tom Halla
Reply to  LdB
September 28, 2021 6:01 pm

I think it is Xi not really grasping supply chains and such. But of course, if a socialist understood economics, he would not be a socialist.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 28, 2021 8:41 pm

But of course, if a socialist understood economics, he would not be a socialist.

That is possibly the most aware comment I’ve read in months. “Intellectuals” have been trying to breath wisdom into the works of Marx for years. They do that by reading between the lines “intuitively”, finding all those gems of economics and sociology us mere mortals seem to miss in the actual text.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 28, 2021 7:34 pm

Yeah, well . . the French are taking a hissy fit with us as well.
Perhaps we’re finally getting a couple of things right.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Raven
September 28, 2021 7:39 pm

And considering that the French have home built nuclear submarines that they did not think of sharing with Australia, I would argue the French shot themselves in the foot on this issue.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 28, 2021 8:44 pm

Being among the most arrogant people on the planet, likely the French felt the Australians wouldn’t notice being pawned off with ‘old stock’.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 29, 2021 10:30 am

We actually requested diesel powered subs . . I know, I know.
Part of that was because a large proportion of the build was going to be in South Australia and we don’t have appropriate nuclear facilities . . which would have also set off the opposition.

In the end, the price had blown out from $60B to $90B with less Oz content. Plus the fact that the French subs would require refuelling every ~7 years whereas the US subs go for 35 years. And I suppose we’ve fought wars with the US for a hundred years, so it’s probably smarter all around. 

As an aside, Switzerland also canceled a military deal with France.
Not their week, was it.

Chris Hanley
September 28, 2021 3:18 pm

The link to the Guardian article: “Josh Frydenberg: Australia’s use of coal is falling ‘and that is not a bad thing'” (2016) links to another: “Josh Frydenberg puts ‘strong moral case’ for coal exports to prevent deaths” (2015).
Recently: “Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has thrown his support behind a proposed inquiry that will grill financial regulators and banks over plans to pull back on lending or insuring mining projects because of climate change” (SMH December 16, 2020).
Frydenberg is all over the shop with coal, it seems he is trying to square the circle by reconciling the national interest with the views of the bien-pensant voters (aka ‘doctors’ wives’) in his wealthy electorate.

Walter Sobchak
September 28, 2021 3:22 pm

Anyone who believes the Chinese have done anything to reduce the use of fossil fuels is foolish. they regard all environmental considerations as Baizuo (white liberal).

The power problem is far simpler than that. The price of coal has soared but the Chinese government has kept the price of electricity frozen at pre pandemic levels. Utilities there only increase their loses by producing more electricity. So they don’t.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
September 29, 2021 1:18 am

and that’s not a problem of renewables… though more renewables is a solution…

Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 2:01 am

ROFL Griff did you forget the /sarc

Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 8:30 am

If something doesn’t work, the obvious answer is to double down on it.

Tom Halla
Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 10:49 am

Texas and South Australia show what eventually happens when there is too much use of wind and solar. You must want people to freeze I in the dark.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 7:22 pm

The great thing about Griff is that no matter what the question is, he has one answer. and it is always wrong.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
September 29, 2021 7:21 pm

“Explainer-What is behind China’s power crunch?” by Shivani Singh and David Stanway | Sept. 29, 2021

“China’s heavily controlled power pricing system prevents its generators from passing on their soaring coal costs to consumers, leaving them with no choice but to suffer losses or reduce output.” …

“This year, a perfect storm of factors – including some coal supply disruptions and surging demand from industries and households – have caused power shortages throughout the country.” …

“Though China has since allowed power tariffs to fluctuate if coal costs reach a certain level, struggling generators are still not at liberty to raise prices in a timely manner in order to avoid losses.” …

September 28, 2021 3:29 pm

The ban on Aussie coal came as retaliation for Aussie whining about China’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea. The new deal for nuclear submarines between Aus. and the US no doubt was a big factor in China’s decision.

Now China is forced to balance different interests.

1) On a strategic basis, how vital is the South China Sea to China’s long term planning. Many would say it is absolutely crucial.

2) On a strategic basis, how vital is it for China to maintain it’s dominance in Hi-Tech manufacturing worldwide. Many would say that their strategic position flows foremost from their manufacturing base.

Interesting. What will they do next? They are making very dangerous noises about Taiwan.
{In my humble opinion, talk about this being related to COP26 and “climate targets” is wishful thinking on the part of the greens and a distraction from the real dangers.}

Rud Istvan
Reply to  TonyL
September 28, 2021 4:04 pm

A good alternative analysis. These are not contradictory views. Taiwan threatens China both in manufacturing (what happens if Taiwan puts next plants in US) and politically. And, they made a big coal mistake re Australia, now compounded by the AUSUK nuc sub deal. Xi cannot be happy.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 28, 2021 7:34 pm

Dont disagree – but was that not exactly the strategy that resulted in Japan attacking Pearl Harbour?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 29, 2021 1:37 am

China has been ramping up its imports from Russia. Substantial increase in coal imports, new gas pipelines from Siberia, and in recent weeks they have been taking 75% of Yamal LNG, helping to create soaring methane prices in Europe.

John K. Sutherland
September 28, 2021 3:31 pm

Confucius, he say… ‘do not switch horses in mid stream if there is not another horse there’.

No rational leader changes the way energy is used without having a reliable alternative energy in place.

Reply to  John K. Sutherland
September 28, 2021 3:55 pm

Your quote includes
rational leader’
without having a reliable alternative energy in place.’

I draw my conclusions about many leaders – based largely on exactly those criteria.
My conclusions are – ahem – not always favourable: see, for example, The Blond, here in the UK, and whoever is pulling strings in the USA.
The nice cuddly Mr Xi, too, seems to fit those now – though I am no Sinologist.
I know there is much noise – from those with no responsibility – about plant food . . . .


Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  John K. Sutherland
September 28, 2021 5:01 pm

Please list all Countries that have a rational leader when dealing with energy and climate. A list of one would surprise me.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
September 28, 2021 8:16 pm

Those countries are legion, just not in the West.

September 28, 2021 3:37 pm

I sometimes think prices are the greatest invention ever, expanding markets beyond barter. Every government intervention in markets distorts prices, and markets respond naturally with distorted priorities. Socialism fails because removing prices altogether is the ultimate in price distortion; no one knows what anything is worth, production proceeds by nonsense quotas, making more of what is not needed and less of what is needed.

Communist countries simply cannot succeed in any long term sense. They can cause a lot of grief while failing, but they cannot succeed. Xi is far too wrapped up in his dogma to ever understand that, and no one will ever tell him the truth.

John the Econ
September 28, 2021 3:46 pm

I used to argue that carbon regulation here would just chase what was left of our manufacturing to China. But if China isn’t going to do anymore of our manufacturing either, I guess we’ll just have to start doing without stuff, which is much of the real green agenda anyway. Really gonna suck for poorer people.

Of course, I don’t buy any of this. I think it’s more about China shutting down some of their coal plants to clean the air up for the Olympics in a few months.

Peter K
September 28, 2021 4:38 pm

I think that’s great that China are doing that, being one of the biggest emitters.. Whether they do it or not will be irrelevant. There is opportunity here. We can sit back and see if there is any dip in the CO2 keeling curve. If there isn’t any dip then we can say that the anthropogenic CO2 component is insignificant. That’s of course that NOAA doesn’t do any data fiddling.

George Daddis
September 28, 2021 4:56 pm

“.. the government limits their ability to pass on costs to customers, said Mr Li.”
Jen Psaki must be taking her talking points from the Chinese government!

If it’s good enough for Xi, it’s good enough for me!

Dave Fair
Reply to  George Daddis
September 28, 2021 8:21 pm

Since Xi dictates prices, Mr. Li is correct. Like all socialist schemes, though, price control leads to shortages. That is part of what you are now seeing in China where production costs (coal) are not controlled but wholesale and retail prices are controlled.

mark from the midwest
September 28, 2021 5:15 pm

It doesn’t take days or weeks to replenish coal inventories, it takes months and years. Coal fired plants in the U.S. have kept close to 90 days of forward looking stock, and they do not have the problem of importing it from Australia, where bulk shipping availability can add months to the process. If China is lagging in the run-up to winter weather they are already screwed.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  mark from the midwest
September 28, 2021 11:40 pm

When I first read about this, severe cold in the north was mentioned as a dangerous factor. Since then, in one day, this has morphed into severe heat in the south. Gotta follow the narrative!

September 28, 2021 5:30 pm

There goes the plummeting price of solar panels and wind turbines!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kevin
September 28, 2021 8:23 pm

Unless China decides to eat the losses to keep market share. Who knows?

Reply to  Dave Fair
September 29, 2021 2:02 am

What is it going to make them with unicorn farts or fairy dust 🙂

John Sandhofner
September 28, 2021 6:53 pm

This is what you get when you are controlled by those in higher authority who mandate things that are unreasonable. Thu shall not violate Chairman Xi mandates. So we cut the power so we can brag that we met our emission goals regardless of the destruction it caused. Yeah. that is a good communist. Park your brain and keep in step. Big brother knows what is best.

September 28, 2021 7:45 pm

As opposed to the “free market” in the US, where the entire private financial system has been subsisdized by $120 billion dollars in Fed bond purchases PER MONTH. And the free market fossil-fuel industry, where prices are set by open collusion of major governments and oil producers. If the Fed respected the”free makret” and started selling off its huge hoard of private bonds, Blackrock and every other major financial institution would be bankrupt overnight and the Fed would own every single one. The only thing “free” about the current market system is the free trillions that 0.1% of the population is getting from …taxpayer-backed dollars.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Eric Lerner
September 28, 2021 8:25 pm

Your ignorance is manifest, Eric.

Reply to  Eric Lerner
September 29, 2021 1:38 am

Precisely, and the ”free marketeers” are getting a serious haircut over Evergrande – the supreme irony of nominally communist China telling foreign investors to let the market decide.
The ‘free-marketeers’ here got massive bailouts after Lehman. China pricked the bubble before this cabal could terrify politico’s into submission.

September 28, 2021 8:57 pm

This was a self-inflicted wound by China in banning Australia coal imports leading to a huge drop in coal-fired energy and energy shortages..

Unfortunately, the West is making the same type of mistake with its war on fossil fuels, and are disastrously trying to replace fossil fuel power with wind and solar, which will eventually cause a huge price increase gas and electricity prices, brownouts and blackouts, and eventually widespread grid collapse if these insane policies continue..

Under Trump, the US was 100% energy independent… now… not so much…and crude oil prices have already increased over 100% since Joe’s election..

Miss Trump yet?

Don Perry
Reply to  SAMURAI
September 29, 2021 6:26 am

Damned right I miss him. So many idiots who voted against him because they were offended by his tweets and by listening to the gross lies and distortions of the left-wing media. His policies were directed to the benefit of the United States more than any other president in my lifetime. Now, I’m afraid it may be too late to save the Republic without another revolution.

September 28, 2021 9:44 pm

Genius – now Xi can tell COP26 ” look at the sacrifices China is willing to make to fight the climate crisis” to fool those Western green-socialist idiots into pledging disastrous emission reductions or net-zero pledges. Look for Australia and China to kiss and make up after November.

September 29, 2021 12:59 am

Boris has to resort to nasty old coal to keep the lights on for COP26.

Pooh Bear, “hold my beer”.

Reply to  Dean
September 29, 2021 9:25 am

no coal in use in UK today, or yesterday.

coal only on once in last 5 days.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  griff
September 30, 2021 12:10 pm

And if the UK builds 10 times as many wind turbines, they’ll STILL need coal and gas to keep the lights on when the wind doesn’t blow at the “necessary, but not excessive” required speeds. So what’s your point?!

September 29, 2021 1:17 am

 It seems likely Chinese coal users have been running down their inventories in the hope that Xi Jinping would relax his ban on Aussie coal imports, which would allow them to restock their inventories at a lower price.

and that is related to upping use of renewables how?

a coal shortage would be worse in a 100% fossil fuel economy.

and there’s a lot of anti pollution action behind the Chinese ‘efficiency’ and power quota limits… they don’t want it smoggy for winter Olympics and they really need to take air quality action…

Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 2:04 am

All they have to do is hide several million disgruntled locals from the press there for the Olympics 🙂

Lets hope XI follows what Griff wants and builds more unreliables so we can really get some momentum on this.

Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 8:37 am

Poor griff, he actually thinks that coal, oil and natural gas shortages have nothing to do with the restrictions his side has been putting on exploration and development.

Reply to  MarkW
September 29, 2021 9:23 am

Tell me how upping renewables produced a coal shortage at Chinese power stations?

Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 1:39 pm

griffter, stupid comment. It takes a couple of days for the wind to dissipate coal smoke, not many months. China’s energy shortages are affecting areas hundreds to thousands of miles from the Olympic venues not just where the Olympics will be months from now. If the Chinese want clean air for the Olympics the only thing they can do since they get 70% of their electricity and 57% of their total energy from coal and ~90% of their total energy from fossil fuels is shut down all industry, all transportation not related to the Olympics, and most residential use of energy in the vicinity of the Olympics shortly before and during the games.

Steve B
September 29, 2021 1:47 am

A good example of what China will do to get something from the West was the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I lived in Beijing from1996 to 2002. I lived in the Dongzhimen area of Beijing where most of the embassies are located as well as a bunch of swanky hotels and many government offices. So where did Olympic committee members stay whist evaluating Beijing? Dongzhimen.
So these people would travel from Dongzhimen to the Olympic sites which were out near the 5th ring road not far from the airport. Ok why is this relevant? During winter time when temps plummeted to about -5 degree Celcius the leaves would fall off the trees and they looked pretty ratty. One night as I was wandering around with nothing to do, I was looking at these trees and thinking that they shouldn’t have leaves. On close examination the Chinese authorities had interwoven strings of green plastic leaves through the trees and also added small green lights to really show them up at night. It was genius. They had done this to thousands of trees, cost be damned. The Chinese was out to impress just so they could get these games.

September 29, 2021 2:14 am

From January to August, China’s coal imports from the US increased by nearly seven times over the same period last year, and the amount of coal imported from South Africa soared from zero last year to 4.38 million tons, an industry report by shows.
China ramps up efforts to ensure power supplies
Coal imports to expand amid rising demand

September 29, 2021 2:32 am

Meanwhile back at the ranch, er , The Times :
BoJo is on the case!

willem post
September 29, 2021 3:48 am

China could try more of wind, solar and batteries, on a national scale, to ruin itself even more.


September 29, 2021 4:08 am

Okay, that article is officially on my list of things that give me a bodacious giggle-snorttt.

Thank you. I needed that! (Falls off chair, laughing myself silly. Startles the cat.)

very old white guy
September 29, 2021 4:18 am

OK, who is lying? One day China is building 150 power plants and now it is short on power?

Reply to  very old white guy
September 29, 2021 9:22 am

It just doesn’t have the coal at its coal power stations.

similar situation in India.

September 29, 2021 4:23 am

chinas also the leading exipient producer ie for just about ALL drugs/meds they then supply India who process for major multinats under their labels and generics
anyone requiring daily meds needs to hope they dont cut those manufacturers power off
bad enough the covid shortfalls prior affected supply chains for global medicine

Patrick MJD
September 29, 2021 5:07 am

The rest of the world is looking to the CCP for inspiration in to how to deploy energy poverty, and thus poverty overall for all except for the ruling classes.

September 29, 2021 6:02 am

Feature. Not a bug.

September 29, 2021 9:21 am

‘It’s just that the Chinese energy juggernaut has run out of steam after running down stocks of coal apparently in the hope that either Beijing would lift all environmental restrictions that increase the cost of producing electricity with coal or that world prices would fall. While Beijing has eased some emissions targets, world prices have carried on soaring.’
‘China has dramatically reduced its coal consumption since 2017, cutting back the proportion used to generate electricity from more than 80% to 51.8% in 2019. Renewable energy, including wind and solar, has made up most of the difference. But with more than half of all electricity still made using coal, generators remain heavily reliant on the black stuff.’

How bad is China’s energy crisis? | China | The Guardian

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  griff
September 29, 2021 10:57 am

No Griff, they cut their own throat, supplies are now short so they are having to shut down power plants due to coal supply issues but claim they are doing it to be green in advance of COP26.

The classic “when you have lemons make lemonade”.

Do you really think they would imposed blackouts on themselves if they could avoid it?

Dave Allentown
September 29, 2021 11:26 am

It is my understanding that the ban on Australian coal imports is the only reason behind the cuts in electricity generation. The ban was highly irrational, but Xi Jinping has made a series of irrational decisions. I accept the opinion of some China watchers that Xi is trending rapidly to neo-Maoism. Instead of job and salary growth, China must look forward to suffocating state control over every aspect of life.

September 29, 2021 1:02 pm

“In the north-eastern city of Liaoyang, 23 people were hospitalised with gas poisoning after ventilation in a metal casting factory was shut off following a power outage, according to state broadcaster CCTV.”

They should’ve worn their masks…. the “experts” around the world keep saying they work great.

AGW is Not Science
September 30, 2021 11:29 am

The power supply crunch is hitting US firms which outsourced their manufacturing to China, with Tesla and Apple component manufacturers reportedly forced to stop manufacturing due to power cuts.

Ah, the schadenfreude from this headline is delicious!

Roger Knights
October 4, 2021 11:07 pm

Perhaps Xi ultimately intends to use the malign effects of emission reductions to demonstrate why China can’t adopt them. He can say that they’ve been tried and failed.

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