Massive Floods add to China’s Climate Policy Coal Crisis

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Massive floods have stopped production in a major Chinese Coal producing province, likely worsening China’s ongoing energy crisis.

China floods: Nearly 2 million displaced in Shanxi province

Torrential rain last week led to houses collapsing and triggered landslides across more than 70 districts and cities in the province.

Shanxi’s provincial capital Taiyuan saw average rainfall of around 185.6mm last week, compared with 25mm it saw in October between 1981 and 2010.

Shanxi is a major coal producing province and the Chinese government was forced to halt operations at mines and chemical factories as a result of the rain.

China is already facing an energy shortage which has caused power cuts. The government has been limiting electricity usage at ports and factories.

The local government said it has suspended output at 60 coal mines, 372 non-coal mines and 14 dangerous chemical factories in the province. 

Operations had already been stopped at 27 other coal mines on 4 October.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-58866854

Why do I call it a “climate policy driven energy crisis”? Because the original shortfall was created by ill considered top down directives from Chinese President Xi Jinping, in my opinion part of an effort to make China look good at COP26.

What has caused China’s electricity shortages, and is Beijing’s carbon-neutral goal solely to blame?

Sixteen of mainland China’s 31 provincial-level jurisdictions are rationing electricity as they race to meet Beijing’s annual emissions reduction targetsThe price of thermal coal, used for power generation, has been soaring all year and hit new highs in recent weeks

Orange Wang and Cissy Zhou
Published: 9:00am, 28 Sep, 2021

Non-negotiable carbon reduction targets have forced many local provincial governments in China to impose rushed measures such as widespread power cuts, although an urgent shortage of coal has also emerged as a likely reason for the power supply crunch that is sweeping the nation.

China’s power supply crisis ratcheted up a notch over the past week with more than half of the country enduring power cuts, making it one of the most extreme examples of energy rationing in the nation’s history, especially considering the impact it is having on regular households.

Power cuts are commonplace in China and are usually restricted to industrial users, but their frequency has risen since the second half of last year and have now been extended to households.

Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planning agency, criticised the “energy consumption intensity” of nine provinces – Guangdong, Jiangsu, Yunnan, Fujian, Shaanxi, Guangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang – for actually increasing their energy use instead of reducing it. Following the warning, the nine provinces stepped up their efforts to cut power, with little impact felt by customers.

“An additional 10 provinces failed to meet their progress targets in the reduction rate of energy consumption intensity, and the situation of national energy saving is very severe,” NDRC spokeswoman Meng Wei said.

“Xi’s dual carbon targets are politically non-negotiable. Accordingly, they have become a catalyst for all manner of policy – certainly including the power generation and consumption controls,” said Cory Combs, an analyst with consultancy firm Trivium China.

Read more: https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3150313/what-has-caused-chinas-electricity-shortages-and-beijings

Shaanxi is also a major coal user, and presumably a lot of Shaanxi factories have also been flooded out, so I’m not sure whether this additional setback will manifest as lost production or even further reduced coal availability. But either way this latest disaster adds to China’s self inflicted pain.

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Vuk
October 12, 2021 2:02 am

Wouldn’t this be a good time to invade China? /sc

H.R.
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 4:01 am

With all the rain and flooding China has been having, it would have to be an amphibious assault all the way to Beijing.
😜

Independent
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 4:03 am

We have to give them a heads up first, I hear.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 4:23 am

The thought crossed my mind, too. They could go and dig out the island the Chinese built without much fuss.

commieBob
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 4:38 am

Nope. Xi is being so stupid we probably don’t need to bother invading. There’s a good chance China is headed for regime change anyway.

nyolci
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 4:58 am

Go try.

LdB
Reply to  nyolci
October 12, 2021 6:30 am

We are starting by sending in all climate scientists when the mayhem from those idiots spreads we begin phase 2 and send in the activists. Packs you bags son your up soon.

Last edited 13 days ago by LdB
Mr.
Reply to  LdB
October 12, 2021 10:00 am

Now that sounds like a Baldrick “cunning plan” that just might work.

The agw boosters are, after all, mostly Baldrick clones.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 1:49 pm

Send in another nonprofit research plan for gain of function viral studies that previously got turned down by the NIH only to be funded by others. I’m sure the second try will do the trick.

Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 3:36 pm

Then we could have a Marshall plan and rebuild it. No nation building of course.

fretslider
October 12, 2021 2:23 am

The more ‘climate saintly’ the policies, the greater the problems. China merely wants a good image for the CoP, but in the West they are serious about it. Nobody is anywhere near delivering net zero and this is just a foretaste of what lies ahead, unless you are in the elites, of course….

“Walking around his Balmoral estate, he [Prince Charles] explains the sacrifices he has made to help the environment, including eating less meat. He has also had his 50-year-old Aston Martin refitted so it can be fuelled by surplus white wine and whey, taken from the production of cheese. There are few better metaphors for the absurdity and elitism of environmentalism than a prince funnelling Pinot and Camembert into his vintage auto.”

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/10/11/prince-charles-and-the-green-counter-revolution/

Now where’s my surplus white wine? There’s never a surplus of wine in my house. I see to that.

I wonder if Xi has one.

Last edited 13 days ago by fretslider
Vuk
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 2:34 am

Some people of his age (nearly 73) start rambling nonsense, but this bloke was doing it for the last 40 years, it goes with the title.

fretslider
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 2:43 am

No, it’s definitely in the genes.

The Duke of Cambridge revealed that he lies awake at night worrying that world leaders and politicians are failing to do enough to stop climate change.
He said: “I get outraged by the inaction.

“That’s probably a bit of a cliché but that is what I get most troubled about.”
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/11/03/william-cant-sleep-because-of-climate-change/

Don’t expect his children to be any different – there’s still the influence of the absent grandmother.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 4:36 am

it’s definitely in the genes

If so, it’s from his dad’s side. I think not, though, his dad was pretty savvy, and his mum is an amazingly sensible woman.

Maybe it skipped a generation.

fretslider
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 12, 2021 4:59 am

They’re an inbred lot and always have been.

More importantly, they have no business poking their noses into politics.

That’s the deal.

Alfred T Mahan
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 12, 2021 5:50 am

I think you’re a bit generationally confused. William’s mother was Princess Diana. Not sure I’d have called her amazingly sensible. William’s wife Kate, on the other hand, most definitely is.

fretslider
Reply to  Alfred T Mahan
October 12, 2021 6:11 am

Diana is the deceased grandmother of George, son of William.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Alfred T Mahan
October 12, 2021 8:08 am

I suspect Diana was a lot brighter than she appeared, not educated, but pretty savvy about politics and how to present herself until it all got away from her. I blame Camilla….

fretslider
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 12, 2021 8:22 am

Is that why she bounced herself down the stairs?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Alfred T Mahan
October 12, 2021 12:02 pm

I think you’re a bit generationally confused.

Oooops. Yes, I think it was that 5th whisky. I was referring to Charlie boy.

james Fosser
Reply to  Alfred T Mahan
October 12, 2021 2:03 pm

Di was perhaps not amazingly sensible, but she was incredibly lucky in that her once a month colonic irrigations over many years never resulted in fatal bowel perforations.

LdB
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 12, 2021 6:32 am

He had an affair with and married Carmilla … enough said he is certifiable.

fretslider
Reply to  LdB
October 12, 2021 8:25 am

He left the blonde for the horse

Dave Fair
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 9:39 am

Hey! I like riding horses. It is just removing all the tack that is tiresome.

james Fosser
Reply to  LdB
October 12, 2021 2:06 pm

You just don’t appreciate true love. Regarding Camilla, he said he wanted to live in her trousers and, if he died, come back as her tampon! (all true).

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 8:05 am

We feed the whey to the pigs and chickens then eat the pigs and chickens. It never occurred to me that one could get a motor to run on whey.

fretslider
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 12, 2021 8:24 am

You still need the wine…

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 11:23 am

But how does it even work? Or is this just more Green fairy dust?

Mr.
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 12, 2021 10:22 am

Whey to go!

(where’s my coat?)

October 12, 2021 2:49 am

Partly OT

https://www.euronews.com/2021/10/11/norwegian-wind-farms-violate-rights-of-sami-reindeer-herders-says-court
Norway’s top court has ruled that two wind farms in the country’s west have violated the rights of Sámi reindeer herders.

151 windmills in question

Peta of Newark
October 12, 2021 3:16 am

Shanxi – right on the southern edge of the big desert.

<feigns surprise and utters> well blow me down wiv a fevver

there’ll be a dust storm next. no kidding.
although, some might argue that that is what ‘most all contemporary floods are = aqueous dust-storms where water does the carrying/work instead of the wind/air

wonders if that’s what happens when spoilt children, aka: brats follow Bojo’s advice and thereafter take charge of an economy……

fretslider
Reply to  Peta of Newark
October 12, 2021 3:31 am

spoilt children” are on the way

A school in Leicestershire, England, has banned the terms “good” and “bad” to describe pupil behaviour because the headteacher wanted to remove “emotional words” from classroom management.

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/10/12/uk-school-bans-terms-good-and-bad-to-describe-childrens-behaviour/

Now Johnny is no longer a bad boy, he is an unskillful boy…

“You’re not really angry with them, your action is actually much more one of concern because they’re behaving in an extremely unskillful way which is going to negatively affect their live [sic] chances and possibly those of people around them”

H.R.
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 4:12 am

I’m OK with eliminating “bad student” and replacing it with “stupid” or “idiot”.


Perhaps report cards should come home with the comment, “Little Johnny is an unmotivated, inattentive dullard with excellent prospects of becoming a dolt. On the plus side, Little Johnny is not a bad student. We recommend you steer Little Johnny towards a career in politics.”

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
October 12, 2021 4:56 am

I would think they would be replaced with WOKE and UnWOKE

beng135
Reply to  Bryan A
October 14, 2021 10:43 am

Replace WOKE with DOPE.

Last edited 11 days ago by beng135
4E Douglas
Reply to  H.R.
October 12, 2021 7:00 am

Substitute “Kate”for “Johnny” and you have the
Governor of Oregon

Mr.
Reply to  H.R.
October 12, 2021 10:27 am

How about a report card like this –

Dear Mr & Mrs Jones.
Your kid Johnny is a little shit.
Either you tune him up or I do.
Thank you.
Principal Smith

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 4:43 am

Now Johnny is no longer a bad boy, he is an unskillful boy…

Hah!

I would have been described as incredibly ‘unskilled’ under those criteria. My teachers were really p’ed off with me (quite rightly) because I was actually very skilled, but just really bad.

In reality, I was just immensely bored at school. I was just one of those that it never worked for*.

One of my most humerous memories is of my dad showing my son one of my school reports from when I was 12. It still cracks me up. I think “could do better if he tried” was on about 8 in 10 reports…

(*yeah, yeah, ending in a preposition, up with that I will not put!)

Last edited 13 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 12, 2021 8:13 am

Don’t feel bad, you are not the only one. I used to be called into the Guidance Counselor’s office on a weekly basis to be told I was not working up to my ability.

H.R.
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 12, 2021 8:35 am

This will make you feel better, Zig Zag. It’s an excellent run through the permutations of that preposition thingy.

https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/prepositions/ending-a-sentence-with-a-preposition.html

Dave Fair
Reply to  fretslider
October 12, 2021 9:52 am

Having grown up as a bad boy, I tell you that I and all the other bad boys were extremely skilled at what mattered.

Yooper
Reply to  Dave Fair
October 12, 2021 1:45 pm

The skill that mattered was hanging out with bad girls, eh?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Yooper
October 12, 2021 7:48 pm

Those were GOOD girls.

Ron Long
October 12, 2021 3:31 am

OK, I have mixed feelings about China’s self-inflicted damage, but I can’t help but wonder of the future of Xi Jinping if the people get tired of this nonsense? Shirley there are elements of reality in the communist commissions that keep an eye on things in China? Remember, this “election” of Xi Jinping was by around 3,000 votes, cast by a commission, not by the population.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Ron Long
October 12, 2021 5:13 am

I suspect things will get really spicy in the Middle Kingdom when hundreds of millions of the new Chinese bourgeoisie discover their entire wealth has vanished in the forthcoming real estate crash.

Mr.
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 12, 2021 10:32 am

Which somewhat explains why Chinese business people use every means to offshore their wealth by procuring real estate in Canada, Australia, and probably everywhere else that has freehold title as a fundamental plank of their Sovereignty.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Ron Long
October 12, 2021 10:14 am

Don’t kid yourself…..as in the West, Climate laws are simply to exercise control over the population and get the peasantry used to the idea of asking permission for everything. Control over the masses, even if it only making everyone check boxes on a form or produce photo ID before entering a public place, is an aphrodisiac to politicians…and won’t be reversed even if totally useless, due to adverse monetary effects on paper and pencil manufacturers, and data analysis professionals….but mostly just the power-over-people aphrodisiac.

Last edited 13 days ago by DMacKenzie
Martin
Reply to  Ron Long
October 12, 2021 5:13 pm

Depends on how effective the CCP’s information control is. Control the military, control the police, control what people know.

And stop calling me Shirley.

diggs
October 12, 2021 3:35 am

I reckon they could do with some high quality Australian Coal right now…..

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  diggs
October 12, 2021 4:48 am

They are accepting it, finally…

LdB
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 12, 2021 6:29 am

Shame actually I was hoping they would try and hold out and do themselves some real damage.

richard
October 12, 2021 3:47 am

A lovely graph titled “Average annual global deaths from natural disasters by decade, 1900-2015” – https://ourworldindata.org/natural-disasters illustrating how bad floods were compared to today.

Neville
Reply to  richard
October 12, 2021 5:40 pm

Richard here’s the chart or graph you’re looking for and Droughts and Floods were a disaster in the early decades and ZIP today.
comment image

Alba
October 12, 2021 3:58 am

A report into the UK Government’s handling of the COVID situation has just been published. It contains this incredible statement:
“We accept that it is difficult to challenge a widely held scientific consensus. But accountability in a democracy depends on elected decision-makers taking advice, but examining, questioning and challenging it before making their own decisions.”

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Alba
October 12, 2021 4:51 am

Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals… except the weasel.

Homer Simpson

Last edited 13 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
pochas94
Reply to  Alba
October 12, 2021 4:52 am

But that requires intelligence.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Alba
October 13, 2021 3:13 am

They are the real little (big) sh.tters!
Makes “Jonny”above sound like a true little angel!

Gary Pearse
October 12, 2021 4:19 am

Getting into trade disputes, espionage adventures, extra territorial ambitions in the China Sea, and the like with the US seems a proximal cause of China’s woes. The US had carried China on its back from a typical backward failing communist state to a miracle of modernization, industrial transformation and economic might. Clinton even gave China the keys to outer space (what was he thinking! Oh right political and personal cash.)

The genuflection to climate change is probably to appease Biden with the long game to get back on the US gravy train. Unlike Japan, which enjoyed the same US largess to develop the world’s second largest modern industrial economy, China didn’t bring much of it’s own to the table, which means they remain dependent on the US.

If US Republicans can get their act together, clean out their own part of the swamp, they will be in power for a generation or two with the self destruction of the Democrat party.

To a large degree, the rest of the world depends on the US, too, and like the conservation biologists saving the ungrateful Nile croc who is snapping at their asses, they too will be saved from the great madness.

nyolci
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 12, 2021 5:02 am

The genuflection to climate change is probably to appease Biden with the long game to get back on the US gravy train

[blocked, profanity] how out of touch with reality you are…

(try to keep the profanity out of the conversation. mod)

Last edited 13 days ago by Les Johnson
Rhs
Reply to  nyolci
October 12, 2021 6:03 am

Simple comment for +1 the mod and their work

fretslider
Reply to  nyolci
October 12, 2021 6:28 am

[blocked, profanity]

Always impressed by the tolerance and respect of an opposing debater.

If only you were such a person.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  nyolci
October 12, 2021 7:48 am

Out of touch with wokie dokie reality is how we all will escape the madness.

nyolci
Reply to  nyolci
October 12, 2021 9:47 am

Except that there was no profanity. Hey, mod, please stop arbitrarily censoring people!

LdB
Reply to  nyolci
October 12, 2021 6:21 pm

ROFL you were so heavily censored try one of the greentard forums if you want to see censoring. You have nothing to complain about except to make fake noise which is basically why you are here.

Antonym
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 13, 2021 12:38 am

US globalist financiers build up the CCCP, NAZI Germany, Japan before and after WW I&II and PR China only for profit. They don’t care for nations, only for a US passport. For taxation they will reside just over half of the year in the Caribbean etc. Autocratic peace is profitable, war is usually profitable etc. Victims: the sheep like Joe Sixpack and Jacky Chain.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Antonym
October 13, 2021 8:29 pm

Antonym: You have to agree that no other nation on earth can, or ever will ever be able do what the US was able to do, first taking war devastated Japan and making it the world’s #2 economy, rapidly surpassing Europe which can’t let go of their Marxist brainchild. Then second taking an unwieldy smokey economy with collapsing late 19th, early 20th factory tech and ¾ billion poverty-stricken peasants and making them into another world’s #2 economy, surpassing Japan and of course sailing past Europe.

Is it a factor that the US was built out of adventurous Europeans who left home to a land of opportunity where they flourished under a real free enterprise system and property ownership? That’s what happened but the success of Japan and China is rather proof that adopting US industrial methods and government staying out of the way (even China was proud of its millionaires) can be mimicked – a paint by numbers approach- as in China and a much more vibrant and creative participation by the Japanese (they had an Imperial background afterall). The Japanese experiment will survive. The Chinese one is vulnerable to falling apart as socialist enterprises finally do.

commieBob
October 12, 2021 4:35 am

My gut reaction is that this could be bad for us.

The world is interconnected. For instance, the recent semiconductor shortage is blamed on events in Japan, the southern US, and Taiwan.

So, what is made in the flood affected area that we can’t easily get elsewhere?

rbabcock
Reply to  commieBob
October 12, 2021 4:52 am

I think you are correct but with these events (shortages) happening ever more frequently, just maybe production of the goods we depend on will start to return to North America and Europe.

Robots, automation and reduced transportation costs can offset more expensive labor and even skilled labor shortages. Here in the US this seems to be happening which also includes moving production out of California, which is as bad as China.

commieBob
Reply to  rbabcock
October 12, 2021 5:26 am

Indeed.

Back when I was a pup, the semiconductor industry was more driven by demand from the US military. There were rules like the one that said there had to be more than one supplier for a part. So obviously, folks were paying serious attention to security of supply.

Later in my career there was a military system that still used vacuum tubes. The only supplier was in the USSR (which was about to collapse). Did something happen in the mean time?

With the fall of the Soviet Union, some folks thought history was over and peace would reign forever more. Given China’s behavior, that was foolish.

It’s time we started giving proper attention to national security again. That, of course, includes security of supply for strategic materials.

There are some businesses we should never have outsourced to China.

Bryan A
Reply to  commieBob
October 12, 2021 4:58 am

Chinese

GaryD
Reply to  commieBob
October 12, 2021 6:07 am

Coal comes to mind. I wonder how this will affect coal production in Australia, US and other countries. Normally it would be easy to take up the slack elsewhere, but these are not normal times.

LdB
Reply to  GaryD
October 12, 2021 6:43 am

Australian coal is mostly pre-sold for next couple of months we have little to give China.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  LdB
October 12, 2021 10:24 am

They can simply do what canada did to get back on schedule with covid vaxxes after or china fetish fell thru again.

Pay more

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  commieBob
October 12, 2021 10:22 am

Solar panels and wind turbines.

Vuk
October 12, 2021 4:53 am

French astronaut on the ISS has recorded (believed to be) a ginormous ‘Sprite’ somewhere over east Europe
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FBHtu_OXoAAqEUy?format=jpg
(one commentator estimated it was in size and appearance of a medium cobalt nuclear bomb explosion)
In foreground from right to the left: Mediterranean sea, Italy, Adriatic sea, ex-Yugoslav coast, Serbia, Bulgaria in direction of SW Russia.

Last edited 13 days ago by Vuk
Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 6:09 am

Google Earth view

GlobalView.jpg
rbabcock
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 6:49 am

That’s a great image. The incoming CME’s and increased solar wind with the more active Sun and the reducing of Earth’s magnetic field will no doubt create more electrical interaction with the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. From what I’ve read these do become more common during geomagnetic storms along with increased auroral activity. This also impacts short term weather. This is going to be a very interesting NH winter and SH summer.

You can’t have this much energy interacting with Earth’s atmosphere and surface without consequences.

Vuk
Reply to  rbabcock
October 12, 2021 12:50 pm

Probably Russkies trying some new ‘thingy’ that went spectacularly wrong.

H.R.
Reply to  Vuk
October 13, 2021 5:40 am

Nahhh… Someone accidentally lit a match in a Unicorn Fart Factory and the image captured the resultant explosion. 😜

Dave Fair
Reply to  Vuk
October 12, 2021 10:04 am

Those Eastern Europeans seem to have some pretty exciting, well-lit football games.

Sara
October 12, 2021 4:58 am

Wait – what? China is having an increase in its energy crisis? Is this because Xi Jinping is more interested in the Conquest of Taiwan than he is in running his own country?

That’s almost a giggle-snort in that whole article. I am smirking. 😉

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Sara
October 12, 2021 12:26 pm

Xi better be careful. I hear Taiwan has a lot of neutron bombs as part of their inventory.

2hotel9
October 12, 2021 6:07 am

Is all this flooding upstream from the Three Gorges Dam?

Olen
October 12, 2021 7:08 am

If the Three Gorges Dam goes it’s all over for China and their propaganda movies slamming US troops. And their expansion goals.

Anthony Banton
October 12, 2021 7:24 am

“Why do I call it a “climate policy driven energy crisis”? Because the original shortfall was created by ill considered top down directives from Chinese President Xi Jinping, in my opinion part of an effort to make China look good at COP26.”

Now, a bit of Googling discovers that no, China’s power shortage cannot be pinned onto COP26 ……..

https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/10/07/china-energy-crisis-electricity-coal-pricing-renewables/

“A long list of alternative—and false—explanations have emerged within China. Grid operators have sought to attribute the issues to rising demand, even though the real estate slowdown and milder temperatures mean that demand has already come down from its summer peak. Opponents of climate action have blamed the power rationing on local government attempts to meet energy consumption targets or broader climate goals. The international media has hinted at attempts to shift from coal to renewables as a factor in the blackouts and devoted disproportionate attention to whether China’s ban on importing Australian coal is contributing to the situation.
In all fairness, many of these factors have led to power rationing before. Zhejiang province was rationing power at the end of 2020 to meet energy consumption targets after surging demand, and Hunan and Jiangxi experienced power shortages at the same time due to lack of generating capacity and outdated grid operation.
But none of these reasons come close to explaining why power shortages are occurring now, throughout the country, even as the central government is doing its best to restore full supply. Certainly no bureaucrat thinks that power cuts will win Beijing’s favor at this moment.
State media has also blamed the variability of wind power for the outages, citing low production in a single province. However, wind, solar, and nuclear power all delivered record output in the period from July to August, increasing 16 percent, 10 percent, and 12 percent, respectively, from that time last year, easing the pressure on coal supply.”

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Anthony Banton
October 12, 2021 7:32 am

“It’s the worst electricity crisis China has faced in a decade. The immediate cause is that China is still highly dependent on coal, which provides 70 percent of the country’s power generation. The electricity prices paid to generators are regulated by the central government, while coal prices are set on the market. When coal prices rise, unless regulators increase electricity prices, it doesn’t make economic sense for coal power plants to keep supplying electricity. Plants can then avoid generating at a loss by claiming they have a technical malfunction or by failing to purchase the coal they need to run, both of which happened in the run-up to the current crisis.
But the reasons for the crisis can also be traced back to a string of policy missteps and poorly thought-out market interventions after the beginning of the pandemic. The crisis has put China’s continued dependence on coal in stark relief, even as its market shares of renewable and nuclear energy have continued to increase.

Regulated power prices are intended to shield electricity users from price risks—a subsidy that comes at the expense of those who generate the power. Beijing is usually slow to raise prices because the public feels it when it does.
China’s recovery from the initial economic shock of the pandemic relied excessively on construction and heavy industry, which caused demand for coal to increase 11 percent in the first half of 2021. This short-term trend was in sharp contrast with Beijing’s calls for a “green recovery” and its strengthened pledges to reduce emissions.

Failing to raise power prices and pushing back on coal price increases meant that coal plants cut back on coal purchases and ran down the stockpiles instead. It also meant that coal mines didn’t ramp up output in time, as the regular price and demand signals were dampened.
Now, power plants have been running down their stocks for months. Reported coal inventories at major power plants started falling below historical averages a year ago and at the end of August fell 37 percent from the same time last year, according to industry data from Wind Financial Terminal.

Beijing’s attempt in late 2019 to introduce flexibility to pricing appears to have made things worse. Power plants were given the ability to negotiate long-term contracts with grid operators within a certain price band. This could have allowed plants to negotiate higher margins, but as some warned already in January 2020, it had the opposite effect: Because China has overcapacity in coal-fired power, it was the grid operator that had the pricing power, and generators bid low, further lowering prices. It’s textbook economics: Oversupply led to low prices and low or negative profits to suppliers. It didn’t help that the government’s clear priority was to reduce power prices: In 2020, the first year of the new system, prices were only allowed to be lowered.
The effect of the negotiations between the grid operators and power plants, and government pressure to keep prices low, can be seen in what little pricing data is available: The average rates paid to every listed company that is reporting data fell in the first and second quarter of 2021, even as coal prices were rising. Government measures to cut power bills in 2020 likely put further pressure on grid operators to negotiate down prices. Paradoxically, having too many coal-fired power plants contributed to the power crunch.
Effectively, the regulators allowed plants to run down stockpiles in a gamble to avoid electricity price hikes, and the gamble failed spectacularly.”

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Anthony Banton
October 12, 2021 9:51 am

What has changed in the last couple decades? All we hear on here from certain players is how massively china is moving into renewbles.

Same with Europe and north america.

I work in electrical field, never was a lot of discussion of unstable grids, rolling blackouts, inability to start large motors.

Seems to be a relatively new phenomena.

I am able to add 2+2

Mr.
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
October 12, 2021 10:54 am

A math question that now has to be posed to primary school students –

If we had 2 wind turbines, and we prudently added 2 more wind turbines, how much wind turbine power generation would we now have?

(the correct is –
depends . . . ” )

n.n
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
October 12, 2021 2:07 pm

In modern, modular mathematics, 2+2 politically congruent (“=”) 3, alternatively 5, 7, and 11 over a color field.

Last edited 13 days ago by n.n
Dave Fair
Reply to  Anthony Banton
October 12, 2021 10:20 am

Ah, the joys of a socialist, top-down economy. Its always the fault of the dolts that can’t properly execute my impeccable grand plans when things fall apart. It is the system that turned the Soviet Union into the powerhouse it is today.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Anthony Banton
October 12, 2021 1:06 pm

I get all my critical energy supply information from foreignpolicy.com. You can believe any statement prefaced by “Opponents of climate action …”

griff
October 12, 2021 7:49 am

And why are they again having massive floods? climate change!

Graemethecat
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 9:45 am

When has China not had disastrous floods?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1931_China_floods

MarkW
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 12, 2021 12:52 pm

In griff’s world, history started in 1979.

griff
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 13, 2021 9:52 am

But it is clear they stepped up a notch recently, eh?

Meteorological bodies have referred to the rainstorm in China – which saw a year’s worth of rainfall in three days – as a one-in-1,000-year weather event. The rainfall broke hourly and daily records of the 70 years of collected data.

and the floods in the coal mining area?

‘Many parts of Shanxi, a landlocked province that generally has dry weather, saw record-breaking rainfall over the past week, according to the provincial government’

This covers record breaking floods in China in 2020 – and has some notes on climate change influencing increased flooding

Is Climate Change to Blame for the Floods in China? | AIR Worldwide (air-worldwide.com)

Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 9:50 am

China has a long history of massive floods.

Mr.
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 12, 2021 11:02 am

and climate change.

There was a Mongol armada that was intent on invading Japan in 1274 / 1281 that was destroyed by typhoons.

https://www.britannica.com/event/kamikaze-of-1274-and-1281

I have no doubt that contemporary news services at that time reported that these typhoons were “unprecedented”.

griff
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 12, 2021 1:28 pm

And this year it had a truly record flash flood, didn’t it? Way off the historic norm, eh?

MarkW
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 5:03 pm

Actually it wasn’t, but what the heck, it’s not like climate science has any use for facts.

griff
Reply to  MarkW
October 13, 2021 9:53 am

‘Meteorological bodies have referred to the rainstorm in China – which saw a year’s worth of rainfall in three days – as a one-in-1,000-year weather event. The rainfall broke hourly and daily records of the 70 years of collected data.’

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 9:54 am

https://ourworldindata.org/natural-disasters

It is orders of magnitudes better than in the past

Lrp
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 10:37 am

Liar

griff
Reply to  Lrp
October 12, 2021 1:34 pm

Really? I have the evidence of Zhengzhou – Meteorological bodies have referred to that rainstorm in China – which saw a year’s worth of rainfall in three days – as a one-in-1,000-year weather event. The rainfall broke hourly and daily records of the 70 years of collected data.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 5:04 pm

With millions of recording stations all over the world, you would expect thousands of once in 1000 year events every year.

Broke a 70 year old record.
You are the only one who appears to be impressed by that.

griff
Reply to  MarkW
October 13, 2021 9:54 am

And then we just had ANOTHER record in Shanxi, to add to a couple of records in 2020…

MarkW
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 12:51 pm

CHina has always had massive floods.
Were the massive floods of the last two centuries also caused by climate change?

griff
Reply to  MarkW
October 12, 2021 1:30 pm

The increased scale of floods like recently in Zhengzhou is certainly climate change in china.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 5:06 pm

Ah yes, the old, any change is proof of global warming argument.

LdB
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 6:24 pm

Then it’s your fault the UK is not doing enough put in more Wind Turbines now as you need to save the planet.

Last edited 12 days ago by LdB
griff
Reply to  LdB
October 13, 2021 9:54 am

Oh but we are: we will go from 10GW offshore wind to 40 GW by 2030.

Paul
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2021 6:33 pm

and the beat goes on, and the beat goes on
and the bull…. keeps pounding in my brain
la da da da dee, la da da dee dah
and the beat goes on and on and on

griff
Reply to  Paul
October 13, 2021 9:55 am

Well I’ll keep pounding till I get through to you…

Mr.
Reply to  griff
October 13, 2021 1:08 pm

Exactly what is it that you’re “pounding” Griff.

NO! Don’t tell me – I really don’t want to know!

richard
October 12, 2021 8:00 am
Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  richard
October 12, 2021 10:19 am

Had to look twice to see when posted, figured that was from April 1

n.n
Reply to  richard
October 12, 2021 2:03 pm

Special and peculiar socialized cargo cult economics.

markl
October 12, 2021 10:59 am

This is called a conundrum. Who/what will the CCP blame for this natural disaster? CO2 emitters?

AndyHce
October 12, 2021 1:03 pm

The only policy result of said emission reduction requirements I can visualize is a glut of unused coal due to all the power cuts.

Ragnaar
October 12, 2021 1:28 pm

Idiots.

ResourceGuy
October 12, 2021 1:41 pm

Xi is getting his first course in resource econ the hard way. They don’t really teach that in the Marx School of Economics or the KGB School of Business in the case of Putin.

james Fosser
October 12, 2021 1:55 pm

In one of several vicious acts towards Australia, China stopped importing our coal.
Here in Australia we have all the coal they could ever want. We anticipate the word ‘Please’ to arrive any day now perhaps accompanied by the words ‘So sorry” (as an old navy man, the term ‘Your turn in the Barrel” comes to mind).

Grant
October 13, 2021 7:32 pm

That’s funny, I run on wine and cheese too.

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