China's Power Grid Problems

May 10, 2012 | 12:42 GMT

Workers build an electricity transmission tower in Zhejiang province, China

China Photos/Getty Images


The limitations of China's existing power grid system pose serious problems for Beijing's stated goal of improving energy efficiency and integrating the country's interior provinces more fully into the coastal economy. China has made reforming power generation and transmission a priority, but it will take a long time before real progress can be made.

Substantial roadblocks to improving the power grid highlight the weaknesses of China's state monopoly on the system: The geographic distribution of domestic energy resources; a lack of connectivity between and even within regional grids; and vulnerability to extreme seasonal weather.

Electricity is being produced, but without a more effective transmission network it often has nowhere to go....

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