Chinese steel mills and mobile phone factories are being idled and thousands of homes in one area are doing without electricity as local governments order power cuts to meet energy-saving targets set by Beijing.
Rolling blackouts and enforced power cuts are affecting key industrial areas. The prosperous eastern city of Taizhou turned off street lights and ordered hotels and shopping malls to cut power use. In Anping County southwest of Beijing, an area known as China's wire-manufacturing capital, thousands of factories and homes have endured daylong blackouts over the past two weeks.
"We can't meet deadlines for some orders and will have to pay penalties," said Han Hongmai, general manager of Anping's Jintai Metal Wire Co. "At home we can't use the toilet" on blackout days due to lack of power for water pumps, he said.
The reason for these shut-downs is mandatory energy efficiency goals dictated by the central government that are not being met.
Some industrious plants/factories still wishing to fulfill production goals while their power is cut, resort to firing up older on-site diesel generators which, of course, is not what you would consider environmentally friendly.
And dig this:
"You could say local governments are trying to blackmail the central government: If you order me to do something I can't deliver, I will pass on the pressure to ordinary people," said Yang Ailun, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace China.
An autocratic central government dictating terms of business to semi-nationalized industries who simply promise to pass along the pain to their costumers...? Over here we call that ObamaCare.
Reading the article, one gets the impression that the Chinese economy is one where an action or series of top-down decrees causes a spastic reaction that is responded to in turn by yet more top-down decrees by the Chi-comms. From our vantage point the Chinese economy is one massive back and forth flail.
Thomas Friedman likes this.