Turning off the vanity lights would help conserve energy

2020-12-21 12:21:06

SONG CHEN/CHINA DAILY Some places in Zhejiang, Shaanxi, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces started suspending power supplies early this month because of power shortages. Local governments said that satisfying people's life needs, key public facilities and key enterprises were the priorities. In a country where it has been increasingly taken for granted that key buildings in cities should be illuminated throughout the night to showcase the vitality of the local economy, the blackouts in these provinces, particularly Zhejiang which is one of the most developed regions in the country, has surprised many people. Responding to this, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Thursday that the power cuts in these provinces is a result of the dramatic increase of demand for electricity stoked by the overlapping of the high demand of industries that have now recovered and are keen to make up for the lost time earlier in the year and the low temperatures. The overall electricity supply in the country is stable. Take Hunan for example. The low temperatures came at least one month earlier than usual in the province this year. The decline in coal burning to cut emissions, the drop in reservoir levels that has reduced hydropower generation, and the wind turbines being affected by the frozen weather are all contributing to the shortage of power there. As the commission said, there is no need to worry about the blackout in some provinces as it is seasonal and a result of multiple factors that have occurred at the same time. Despite this, apart from calling on people to save power, the central government needs to do more to deliver surplus power from the rest of the country to these few provinces to minimize the temporary and regional power shortage's influence on the national economy and people's livelihoods and well-being. As an urgent response, the approval and implementation of interprovincial power transfer should be streamlined so that the power gaps can be filled as soon as possible. That should also prompt the central government to establish a long-term mechanism to avoid any worries about future power shortages, and rethink the rationality behind the country's expensive power bill for its shining neon cities.