China’s economic hub goes dark — Analysis

Shanghai shut down decorative lighting due to high electricity demands from a heatwave

The lights are off on Shanghai’s riverfront skyscrapers and other buildings that give China’s economic hub its iconic look. According to city officials, the measures are intended to ease pressure on China’s national grid in light of the rising electricity demand due the heatwave.

In a statement released on Sunday, officials announced that “landscape lighting” in the city’s famous Bund district would be switched off for two days starting on Monday. Officials from the city clarified that the same will be applied to video and billboards located on either side of the Huangpu River.

It comes amid ongoing heatwaves that have raged across China, sending electricity demand soaring. Temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113° F) have pushed up power demand. Moreover, water levels in parts of the Yangtze River, China’s key inland waterway, have fallen significantly, putting yet more pressure on the hydroelectric plants that supply electricity to some of China’s most developed and power-consuming economic centers.

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This situation is so serious that authorities in Sichuan southwestern extended for another four days an earlier imposed power-rationing plan for industrial consumers.

The province has experienced the highest extreme temperatures and the lowest precipitation in its history since July.… {and} The highest ever power load,” officials explained.

The decision has seen several car factories, including those operated by Toyota and Elon Musk’s Tesla, halt production, as reported by Chinese news outlet Caixin.

Experts have warned of the potential for power outages in Sichuan, as the province also houses major part manufacturers.

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