Power consumption surged in large Chinese provinces north of the Yangtze river amid warmer-than-normal weather, with regions like Henan, China’s third-most populous province, challenged by record electricity demand.
The maximum power demand load in Henan, which has a population of nearly 100 million people, set a new record of 65.34 million kilowatts on Sunday, state television reported on Monday.
While the provincial grid was able to cope with the heavy demand, electricity supply in Henan is expected to be relatively high this summer, according to the report, with the maximum load seen rising further to nearly 75 million kilowatts.
In contrast to the heaviest rainfall in 60 years in southern China, Henan and nearby Shandong and parts of Hebei have battled with scorching heatwaves and drought-like conditions this month.
Temperatures in Henan’s capital Zhengzhou, where major Taiwanese Apple supplier Foxconn has a production hub, have reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in recent days.
As temperatures climb, demand for power rises as homes and businesses crank up air-conditioning, peaking typically around the end of July and beginning of August in China.
Prolonged periods of high temperatures could force China to limit, stagger or ration power consumption of industrial users during peak periods.
The high temperatures will persist through Tuesday, with Henan, Hebei and Shandong still the core areas of the warm weather, China’s meteorological administration said.
“For this region, it is rare to see such persistence and intensity in high temperatures at this time in June,” it said.
In Jiangsu, the maximum power demand load in China’s fourth-most populous province broke above 100 million kilowatts on June 17 for the first time this summer, 19 days earlier than in 2021, according to state media.
Power consumption in Hefei, capital of eastern Anhui province, has also reached new highs, prompting calls to save electricity.
“Dear aunties, please turn down the air-conditioning setting by one degree in the summer and save more than 6% in electricity,” officials urged residents of one county.