Power shortages see light shows canceled
Guangzhou and Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province have canceled plans for light show extravaganzas to celebrate National Day to help ease heavy pressure on the province's electricity supply.
A statement released by Guangzhou's housing and urban-rural development bureau on Wednesday said no major light shows will be presented in the city during the weeklong National Day holiday, which begins on Friday.
Previously, light shows had been planned along the Pearl River in downtown areas to celebrate National Day.
The amount of time the city's iconic architecture, major buildings and scenic spots will be illuminated will also be shortened during the holiday, the statement said.
In Shenzhen, all light shows have been canceled and lighting will be limited during the National Day holiday.
Shenzhen government official Xu Haiwen said the decorative lighting at major scenic spots and on buildings will begin 30 minutes later, at 7 pm, and end at 9:30 pm during the holidays.
"With the shortened time, the city will be able to save more than 23,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity," Xu said.
Chen Xiaoxing, who works in an office in Guangzhou's Tianhe district, said the festive light shows along the Pearl River usually attracted tourists to Guangdong's provincial capital during festivals and holidays.
"But it is understandable that related departments cease the light shows when the province experiences electricity supply shortages," she said.
Earlier this week, the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Energy and electricity grid officials jointly issued a proposal urging departments and cities across the province to conserve electricity to ensure sufficient supply for residential use.
Liu Wensheng, the bureau's deputy director, said the province has introduced staggered peak power consumption rules to ease the heavy pressure on electricity supply－which has brought shortages－and to help ensure the safe operation of the power grid.
Many companies and factories in the Pearl River Delta, one of the world's major production bases, have been ordered to operate for only three days after stopping production for four days.
Priority will be given to residential power consumers and the province's service industries, Liu said.
He attributed Guangdong's electricity supply shortage to the strong economic rebound in recent months, price increases for coal and natural gas, and soaring temperatures that have triggered a spike in the use of air conditioners.
Maximum temperatures in Guangdong reached 34 C to 38 C this month, up 3 C to 4 C compared with September last year, according to the Guangdong Meteorological Service.
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