General industrial and commercial electricity use has been fully restored in Sichuan, and power is gradually being restored to large industrial companies, except for some high-energy-consuming enterprises.
(Image credit: Sichuan government Weibo)
The power crunch in southwestern China's Sichuan province is beginning to ease, as high temperatures that have lasted for dozens of days begin to subside.
As temperatures dropped and several areas of Sichuan saw rainfall, the electricity crunch eased, the state-owned China News Service reported today.
As of 12:00 on August 28, general industrial and commercial electricity use in Sichuan had been fully restored, and electricity use by large industrial enterprises was gradually being restored, except for some high-energy-consuming enterprises, according to the report.
Large industries will also all resume normal electricity consumption after the water storage situation in hydropower stations improves, the report said.
Sichuan gets 80 percent of its electricity supply from hydropower, and the rare high temperatures and long duration of the drought this year have caused water levels at some of the main hydropower plants to bottom out, CCTV reported on August 17, citing State Grid sources.
On August 14, Sichuan authorities issued an announcement that industrial producers included in a list would need to suspend production for six days starting August 15 to protect electricity for residents.
On August 20, the local government issued a new emergency notice that extended the power restrictions while also extending the time until 24:00 on August 25.
With the onset of rainy weather, the daily generating capacity of hydropower plants in Sichuan reached 460 million kilowatt-hours on August 28, a 9.5 percent rebound from the recent low, according to China News Service.
However, the report noted that it will take some time for Sichuan's hydropower generation capacity to return to normal, as rainfall is still not enough and incoming water from upstream caused by the drought has plummeted.
Still, as temperatures have dropped, local demand for electricity has decreased significantly.
On August 28, Sichuan's air conditioning load dropped by 12 million kilowatts, or about 52 percent, compared with its recent high, according to China News Service.
Daily residential electricity consumption in Sichuan province dropped from a high of 473 million kilowatt-hours to 340 million kilowatt-hours on August 27, according to the report.
State Grid workers are helping check electricity safety at shopping malls, and one worker said their focus has changed from encouraging businesses to cut back on electricity use to helping them get back on track as power supplies improve.
Separately, the power supply gap in Sichuan is expected to be largely closed in the next three days, according to a report by state-run CCTV.
Businesses in cities including Chengdu and Mianyang have resumed normal electricity use and air conditioners are open without restrictions, according to CCTV.
The previous power crunch in Sichuan has had an impact on the experience of electric vehicle owners, with some on social media complaining they are having difficulty finding charging piles with electricity to charge their vehicles.
Earlier this month local media reported that an NIO House in Chengdu was not allowed to turn on its air conditioning because of power supply restrictions.
The battery swap station at a service center on Chengdu's Airport Road and the charging piles were left without power, and charging of some vehicles under repair may be affected.
Due to recent power constraints in Sichuan, Li Auto's range extender plant in Mianyang has experienced delays in supply, resulting in a delay in the start of Li L9 deliveries.
Li Auto's Li L9 first deliveries face delays as power crunch in Sichuan affects range extender supply