Coal stockpiles decreased below normal levels, prompting energy officials to issue warnings of coming power cuts, according to Chinese media reports. Officials said rising industrial demand for power was causing the shortfall and that they are working to reinforce controls on the escalating demand as well as increase supply. Demand is expected to rise during the summer as air-conditioning units across the country are turned on. Critics have blamed the government for failing to anticipate growing demand for power and not approving the construction of sufficient new generating plants ahead of time.
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