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Energy

China regions set power consumption records; premier issues warning

Electricity load surges as heat waves spread across areas north of Yangtze River

A State Grid Corporation of China storage and transmission power station for wind and solar energy in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- The consumption of electricity in the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Henan reached records this week, primarily driven by the use of air conditioning as heat waves spread across regions north of the Yangtze River.

The electricity load at Shandong's power grid hit 92.94 million kilowatts on Tuesday, passing the 2020 peak of 90.22 million kilowatts to set a record, state television said on Wednesday.

Several cities in Shandong, where "red alert" warnings of high temperatures have been issued, also saw historically high power loads.

Loads in Henan reached a peak of 71.08 million kilowatts on Monday, surpassing the previous day's record of 65.34 million, according to state media.

Premier Li Keqiang, visiting a thermal power company in the province of Hebei, said China must increase coal production capacity to "resolutely prevent power outages," according to a state media summary published late on Tuesday.

Parts of Hebei and the nearby provinces of Henan and Shandong have faced drought-like conditions throughout June.

On Wednesday, China's meteorological administration issued orange alerts warning of high temperatures in regions across the three provinces.

As well as heat waves in China's north, heavy rain has been falling in seven provinces in the south and a tornado ripped through the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, which cut power to more than 5,400 users last week.

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