Severe Electricity Problems in China & Europe

Friday, October 1, 2021

/ by mansuralisaha

 The News Cover: Since June 2021 the Chinese government has strictly rationed the use of electricity in factories, homes, offices, etc. How shocking! In some cities, the use of ACs and lifts have been banned. Severe restrictions have been implemented. You are aware many Indian cities and villages face power cuts for hours. Now China is experiencing the same with severe electricity rationing. How shocking! China is the world's strongest economy, technology and gadgets are the cheapest which are exported all over. 

So why is such a country rationing its electricity? What is the problem? Before I tell you something, you will first have to understand how electricity is made. Electricity is produced by burning coal in a boiler to produce steam. The smoke of the coal is released in the open. The steam produced flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to create electricity which powers factories, homes, offices, etc. Watch the video to clearly understand the process. I hope the video has helped you understand. Instead of coal China also uses Natural Gas to create electricity. Natural Gas is an exothermic form of energy extracted from below the earth's surface to create electricity in the same process in which coal is used to create electricity. However the positive is that it is a clean form of energy that does not harm the environment. 

Coal on the other hand is extremely harmful to the environment. However, it is not possible to immediately switch to natural gas. China currently is heavily dependant on coal and will slowly transition to natural gas. The large-scale mining of coal and extraction of natural gas to generate electricity is depleting these fossil fuels. This is a huge problem. Once these resources are gone, there won't be any electricity. Then how will we work? As these resources reduce, their price will increase. This is why China is rationing electricity as they are not able to cope with the rising prices. This is not the case only in China, the same is happening in Europe as well. 

China and Europe are worried about the upcoming winters when heating with the help of electricity will be a necessity. This is why the rationing of coals will cause problems. Here are reasons why the price of coal & natural gas has increased: 1. For more than a year the entire world was on lockdown. Factories, businesses, etc. were shut and everyone was home. You know about this. Finally, after almost a year and a half, the lockdown lifted. That's when factories ramped up their production leading to rising in the need for coal. That's when the price increases. 2. China is the leader when it comes to manufacturing tech equipment. They manufacture various gadgets like mobiles, TV, refrigerator, ACs, etc. They are known to export these items for dirt cheap prices. These factories run for hours on electricity generated through coals. It even used natural gas to generate electricity. Continuous use of coal will lead to its depletion. We can not be complacent about this as coal is not formed in a day. It is a natural resource found below the earth's surface and can take hundreds of years to form. 

Organic matter will decompose and eventually turn into coal. Even resources of natural gas are depleting. This is a huge problem. 3. China used to get 90% of their coal from their states. The remaining 10% was sourced from foreign producers. However, there is a severe shortage of coal in these states and they are unable to meet the rising demand as production takes time as coal is a natural resource. This has caused the electricity crisis. 4. Countries across the world have promised to reduce emissions in their factories to protect the environment and combat climate change. China has promised to stop the harmful emissions by 2060 and the use of coal. They are slowly trying to switch to natural gas to achieve their goal. 5. China used to import coal from Australia. However, they stopped this due to political tensions. This is another reason for the shortage of coal and the electricity crisis. 6. Indonesia and Columbia have been supplying coal to China & Europe. Heavy rains in these countries affected the production. In other countries because of the lockdown, coal mining stopped which is why the production reduced and price increased in China & Europe. China and Europe’s electricity problem was a blessing to India. 

Earlier a lot of factories in India used to buy coal from foreign countries at cheap rates. Now that coal prices in foreign countries have increased, Indian coal producers are being favored by Indian factories, but still the coal stock is limited. Experts say the price for coal will remain high in the coming months. Fuel price are increasing in China, Europe and India. Economies are struggling to handle this. With the rising prices of coal, governments need to ration their electricity. If prices continue to rise, factories may shut and the economy will end up in shambles. This is why the situation needs to be carefully handled. Lets hope India does not suffer the same fate as China. Electricity in factories needs to be carefully moderated. So that the economy is safe.

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