所以，立即調漲電費似乎是可行的解決之道，但卻受限於北京政府全力對抗通貨膨脹，而無法採行。能源分析人員楊福強(YANG FUQIANG)表示：「中國在2007年時，消費者指數(CPI)創下新高，同時隨著即將到來的中國新年與奧運，政府頒布許多法令，企圖限制能源價格【shows 17】」。理論上，電價應隨煤價調整，然而由於實際上，中國採行電價固定，煤價卻能波動的方式，將使的能源短缺問題，在短期之內無法獲得改善。
※ The original article was taken from Reuters Website. ( 原文取自路透社網站 )
INTRO: China faces record power shortage. Record power shortage hits China as coal prices continue to hike and power plants shut down capacity.
STORY: China is facing its most severe power shortage ever, as plants struggle to secure increasingly costly coal or shut down capacity to prevent losses. Brownouts have hit at least 13 provinces, and at its peak nationwide demand outstripped supply by nearly 70 gigawatts, or the equivalent of most of Britain's generating capacity, according to state media.
The main reason behind the power shortage is raising coal prices, analysts have said, as about 80 percent of China's electricity is generated by burning coal. Many plants are being turned off or running at reduced rates because their profits are demolished by the current system of capped electricity tariffs combined with record coal costs, according to traders and industry figures.
The current situation of coal prices free to float while power prices fixed has caused the trouble, chief delegate of an energy foundation in Beijing Yang Fuqiang said. The ongoing heavy snow in many parts of China, which snarls coal transportation and destroys electricity cables, is also to blame for the crisis.
"The main reason is power plants have reduced their capacity, and in addition there is a transportation problem, which all resulted in the coal prices hike. Government should coordinate the relations between coal and electricity prices, and make room for the future electricity price rise," Yang said.
However, an immediate hike in power tariffs is not likely as Beijing is battling high inflation, according to the analyst. "In 2007, China's CPI has reached a new height, and plus the upcoming spring festival and Beijing Olympics, the government which wants to maintain the country's stability has issued regulations to prevent prices of some energies such as electricity to rise," he said.
A drought has hit hydropower output and worsened the impact of the coal squeeze in central and southwestern provinces. Beijing also cut coal production last year by closing thousands of small, hazardous pits as part of a safety drive, even as international markets rose to record levels.
Now the government has warned miners against making chaotic price increases, ordered railways to find extra wagons to transport coal for power generation, and requested the re-opening of any closed mines that meet safety standards.
"In terms of heating and other use of power in our lives, the government is doing a good job to guarantee people's need for power, but the price hike of coal has affected our company's operation and profits," Guo, who worked for a financial company, said.
The country's heavy dependence on coal also causes concerns from its citizens. "Our country depends too much on coal, and we should use other resources to generate electricity, such as nuclear power. In this way, we will not suffer from power shortage due to weather-related reasons or transportation," Liu, a Beijing citizen said.
The problem will not go away in a short term, according to analysts, as officials are caught between two policies -- fixed power tariffs, and coal prices freed to float several years ago. In theory the two are linked and tariffs should rise when coal prices climb more than a set amount, but Beijing has been reluctant to authorize increases.
A nationwide diesel supply crisis hit the country last autumn, when refiners under similar pressure quietly curbed output and forced the government to make an unplanned and unwanted rise in fuel prices.