Chinese authorities will “prepare for the worst” in coming weeks in order to ensure that strained power grids can handle record levels of demand, said Liu Tienan, the country’s top energy official, Reuters reported. Although China’s energy supply has been sufficient so far this summer, uncertain weather and water levels, together with the soaring demand from energy-intensive industries in some regions have been causing problems. Electricity shortages began in March and were followed by restrictions on power use in several provinces. Experts said China’s fixed pricing system is discouraging power plants from producing at full capacity, a challenge compounded by soaring coal prices and the long drought earlier this year. However, heavy rainfall mitigated power shortages throughout June and July by reducing air conditioning consumption and boosting hydropower output.