Power crunch driven by drought in China’s Sichuan Province eases

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A power crunch driven by drought in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, the country’s biggest hydropower producer, has started to ease as temperatures fall, state media reported on Sunday.

Power for ordinary industrial and commercial users has been restored while that for large industrial users will be gradually restored, except for highly energy-intensive industries, state media reported, citing the State Grid Corp.

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A long drought across the Yangtze basin has crimped electricity supply, prompting concerns that China could suffer another devastating power shortage.

But demand is easing as the letup in temperatures, which had exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in many areas, has tempered a surge in air conditioner use, state media said.

Sichuan generates 30 percent of China’s hydroelectric power, usually delivering a massive power surplus to the rest of the country. But it is now receiving electricity from other provinces after weeks of minimal rainfall and extreme heat.

Read more: China warns of ‘severe’ threat to harvest after worst heatwave on record

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