China Provinces Face Blackouts as Energy Intensity Target Looms

Blackouts have occurred in some Chinese provinces as local governments try to meet energy efficiency targets by the end of the year, according to the National Reform and Development Commission of China.

The blackouts have taken place as a five-year national plan to reduce energy intensity, or energy consumption per unit of GDP, by 20 percent ends in December, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s top economic planner, said today in Tianjin, China.

The central government is halting the blackouts as soon as they are being discovered, the vice chairman said, without identifying where the outages took place. China Armco Metals Inc., a distributor of imported metal ore, said last month that its operations would be affected by the Jiangsu provincial government’s rolling blackouts scheduled for September.

“Only six or seven provinces are facing difficulty in meeting the targets, and in order to complete the task they’re carrying out wrongdoings that run counter to the spirit of the target,” the vice chairman said today. “China’s 20 percent target is legally binding and we’re determined to meet it.”