Asias power crisis: Pain and gain

China and India are suffering blackouts. Japans businesses and South Koreans are braced for bigger electricity bills. But Indonesia and Australia are expecting to book tidy profits on booming coal exports. The Straits Times bureaus report on the impact of the surge in oil, natural gas and coal prices across the Asia-Pacific.

Policy and coal shortage key factors in China’s power crunch

Late last month, residents in Changling county of Jilin province started receiving notices warning of power cuts. Within days, power was cut at random hours, leaving residents little chance to prepare for these periods.

“Sometimes it lasted hours, sometimes it was the entire day. It was very difficult, especially for those of us with children and elderly family members,” said Madam Chen Na, 34.

She is among hundreds of thousands in northern provinces such as Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang who found themselves with an intermittent power supply. This was the result of factors such as ambitious carbon goals, uneven policy implementation, freak weather and rising commodity prices.


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