On 14 August 2022, Sichuan’s provincial government announced a round of power cuts for industrial power users lasting six days from 15-20 August (inclusive). By 21 August, the Sichuan blackout had been extended to 25 August and was also including Chongqing. At the time of publishing, almost every region in Sichuan, with the exceptions of Panzhihua and Liangshan, continues to observe a total industrial power blackout. At the same time, other central Chinese provinces including Hubei and Hunan, as well as eastern provinces including Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui, have all begun implementing some power rationing and peak shaving measures, although nowhere near as severe as in Sichuan.
These measures have been taken to reduce load and ensure power supply to residential power customers during a period of low hydropower production and heightened demand brought on by an extended heat wave. On 21 August, 2022, Sichuan triggered a “Level 1 Emergency Event Energy Supply Guarantee Response.” This Level 1 Response prompts the deployment of emergency response measures including backup power supply vehicles, emergency diesel generators, and reallocation of power resources from other provinces, serving as a clear indicator for the deepening severity of the power crisis.
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