Low season electricity shortage or opening electricity price window

The power shortage is no longer news, but it’s only a matter of coming early this year. There are still more than a month after the peak of summer electricity consumption, and Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Chongqing and other places have suffered from “off-season electricity shortage”. The China Electricity Council has warned that the power gap during the peak summer season will be conservatively estimated to reach 30 million kilowatts, equivalent to the total power generation of two Anhui or three Chongqing; if the contradiction between supply and demand of coal is further intensified, the drought will continue to affect hydropower generation. And there will be an abnormally high temperature, and the power gap will continue to expand. In this regard, the industry believes that the low enthusiasm of thermal power generation is a direct factor. Considering that the current installed capacity of power should meet the demand, and the government will gradually introduce relevant policies, it is expected that at least this year will not have the basis for large-scale power shortage. Power generation companies are "not active" "This is the biggest power shortage China has faced since 2004, and its scope and depth are unprecedented." China Telecom said. However, in the view of Lin Boqiang (column), professor of China Energy Economic Research Center of Xiamen University, although this round of “electricity shortage” is very serious, it is difficult to say in 2011 that it is “the most serious year of power shortage since 2004”. According to his analysis, the lack of electricity from 2003 to 2004 was mainly due to insufficient power supply. At that time, the power shortage showed a lack of comprehensive installation. The number of hours used by the generator set reached its peak in 2004: the country used thermal power for 5,991 hours, and the utilization rate of the unit was close to saturation, which was a “hard power shortage”. The "winter power shortage" that began in early 2011 to the current "off-season electricity shortage", power shortages are concentrated in individual areas, and cannot simply be attributed to insufficient installed capacity. It is estimated that the use of thermal power in the country in 2011 will be around 5,300 hours, which is lower than the average of 2003 to 2006. In other words, this round of "electricity shortage" can be called "soft power shortage." The reporter learned that in addition to the drought in the south and the recovery of demand for electricity in high-energy-consuming industries, the deep-seated reason for the large-scale power shortage this year is that the price of coal-fired power has not been rationalized, causing serious losses in thermal power enterprises, and the enthusiasm for power generation has been frustrated. . At present, more than 80% of the power supply installed in China is thermal power. Since 2007, electricity prices have only increased by 15%, while coal prices have risen by 75% in the same period. From January to April, the thermal power production business of the five major power generation groups lost 10.57 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 7.29 billion yuan. Therefore, Lin Boqiang believes that because the supply of coal is “not to force”, the production of power generation enterprises is “not active”. Different from the production of power generation in 2004, according to the current power installation capacity, it should be able to meet the demand. Multi-pronged approach to curbing power shortages From the current point of view, raising electricity prices is undoubtedly the best way to alleviate power shortages caused by high coal prices. Those who support this view believe that the price increase can eliminate a number of backward industries that consume large amounts of electricity, stimulate the development of green energy, and also benefit the completion of emission reduction targets. However, the price adjustment has taken the lead. According to media reports, the National Development and Reform Commission plans to supplement the on-grid tariffs of some power-hit areas, and the on-grid tariffs of 16 provinces and cities nationwide that have been raised in early April. The cost pressure of thermal power companies in nearly 20 provinces and cities nationwide has eased. However, the on-grid price is the price of electricity purchased by the grid from the power plant, and the price of electricity sold is the price at which grid companies sell electricity to end users (including agriculture, industry, services, and residents). According to this, many experts pointed out that the essence of the grid enterprises to bear the cost of thermal power companies, and the grid companies can not always bear the losses of thermal power companies, this cost pressure is only a matter of time to release to end users. Taking into account the domestic inflationary pressures still exist, experts suggest that to raise electricity prices, especially the sale of electricity prices, should first raise the industrial electricity price, residential electricity should be resolved by demand side management. Lin Boqiang predicted that the government may adopt a number of measures before the peak season of electricity consumption, including fine-tuning electricity prices, coordinating coal prices, etc., coal, power plants and power grids in the industrial chain must make concessions; and the government will continue to adopt administrative The means to curb the contract coal price increase, and recommended that the central government collect special coal income to ensure the supply of coal. In the long run, only by rationalizing the price mechanism of thermal coal, developing hydropower, encouraging the development of low-energy-consuming industries, and strengthening the construction of power grids can we fundamentally eliminate the “electricity shortage”.

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