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Shanghai to Be Darker for Power Shortage

The country's economic hub may get a little darker.


In a move to protect the electricity supply for residents and businesses, Shanghai will shut off scenic lamps during peak power-use times this summer.


The metropolis is bracing for summer heatwaves with a number of measures to deal with what officials called "seasonal power shortfalls."


Shanghai is dotted with ornamental lamps which hang on local streets and buildings to give it an appealing nighttime landscape. The lamps are scattered around the city's major scenic spots, central business areas and prime transportation hubs, including the Bund area, People's Square and Yan'an Elevated Highway.


Whenever the temperature goes above 35 C those lamps will be shut off, said Guo Hua, director of the lamp advertisement supervisory unit of the Shanghai City Appearance and Environmental Sanitation Administration.


The lamps will also be temporarily turned off whenever an urgent power need arises. Any power saved will then be transferred to areas facing shortfalls, Guo said.


"The measure's objective is to ensure a regular power supply at large."


At their maximum consumption levels, scenery lamps use up 30,000 kilowatts of electricity, about 0.2 per cent of the city's total power consumption during peak time.


While turning off the picturesque lights may rob the city of some of its nighttime attraction, particularly for tourists, the benefits of the power saving make the move worthwhile, Guo said.


The lamps under Guo's department consume about half the total power used by ornamental lamps. If they are shut off, the power savings can supply more than 10,000 local families.


(China Daily July 7, 2004)


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