Electricity use sets records in multiple Chinese locations amid extreme heat
Published: Jul 26, 2022 10:19 PM
People walk on the street amid high temperature in Minhang District of east China's Shanghai, July 10, 2022.Photo:Xinhua

People walk on the street amid high temperature in Minhang District of east China's Shanghai, July 10, 2022.Photo:Xinhua

As heatwaves continue to engulf China with some 51 weather stations across the country recording daily temperatures exceeding historic highs in the past half month, electricity loads in multiple regions in southern and eastern areas have also set records.

China Southern Power Grid (CSG), a state-owned enterprise providing electricity for the country's southern and southwestern provinces and regions of Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou and Hainan provinces, announced that by Monday, the overall electricity load provided by the company had reached 223 million kilowatts, an increase of 6.5 million kilowatts or nearly 3 percent over last year's maximum, The Paper reported on Tuesday. 

A staff member at the company, Yang Lin, said that this month, there have been 13 days when the daily highest power load supply exceeded 200 million kilowatts.

The maximum load of a region refers to the total power consumed by all electrical equipment in the residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and other sectors.

Among the five provinces and regions, Guangdong's power grid load hit a record high for the first time this year on Monday, reaching 142 million kilowatts, an increase of 4.89 percent over last year's maximum. 

The extraordinary electricity consumption comes amid the extreme heat that has scorched China over the past month. As of Monday at 5 pm, 21 red hot weather warnings and 140 orange warnings had been issued in the five provinces, The Paper reported. 

According to the Guangdong meteorological authority, this round of heat is expected to last until early August.

To guarantee sufficient and safe power supply under the smothering weather, the company has conducted special patrols for the timely detection of potential equipment overloads. Meanwhile, clean energy and cross-regional power transfers will help ensure the sufficient supply of electricity. 

Apart from the southern parts of China, East China's Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces have also set power load records, with Zhejiang peaking at 101.9 million kilowatts on July 11 and Jiangsu reaching 126 million kilowatts on July 12. 

The latest meteorological data showed that since July 15, a total of 51 national meteorological observation sites have recorded daily maximum temperatures exceeding the historical extremes. Among them, four sites in Guizhou, Guangdong and Fujian on Monday saw daily highs set new records, China News reported on Tuesday.

Fujian's Fuzhou has gotten particular attention, as the city's temperature soared to over 40 C for three consecutive days from Friday to Sunday, while recording a highest 41.9 C on Sunday, said the report.

According to weather forecasts, the high temperatures in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will peak in the coming two days, as a number of cities will experience extreme heat of over 40 C. 

Meteorological experts noted that Xinjiang is known for its dry, hot and sunny weather, and the temperature gap between day and night is relatively large. By contrast, the eastern and southern parts of China, with high humidity, feels higher than the actual ambient temperature, which itself feels like entering a "steam" mode.