• 3 minutes Will Iron-Air batteries REALLY change things?
  • 7 minutes Natural gas mobility for heavy duty trucks
  • 11 minutes NordStream2
  • 16 mins U.S. Presidential Elections Status - Electoral Votes
  • 2 hours Evergrande is going Belly Up.
  • 2 hours Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav
  • 7 hours Is China Rising or Falling? Has it Enraged the World and Lost its Way? How is their Economy Doing?
  • 2 days Poland Expands LNG Powered Trucking and Fueling Stations
  • 2 days World’s Biggest Battery In California Overheats, Shuts Down
  • 1 day The unexpected loss of output from wind turbines compels UK to turn to an alternative; It's not what you think!
  • 18 hours Ten Years of Plunging Solar Prices
  • 22 hours Extraction of gasoline from crude oil.
  • 3 days The coming Cyber Attack
  • 3 days Is the Republican Party going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6th?
  • 3 days Ozone layer destruction driving global warming
  • 3 days 'Get A Loan,' Commerce Chief Tells Unpaid Federal Workers

Breaking News:

UN Climate Conference Snubs Big Oil

The Major Beneficiary Of The Afghanistan Crisis

The Major Beneficiary Of The Afghanistan Crisis

Following the Taliban takeover of…

The Dangerous Rally In Natural Gas Prices

The Dangerous Rally In Natural Gas Prices

Natural gas prices are soaring…

Haley Zaremba

Haley Zaremba

Haley Zaremba is a writer and journalist based in Mexico City. She has extensive experience writing and editing environmental features, travel pieces, local news in the…

More Info

Premium Content

Extreme Flooding Weighs On China’s Energy Supply Chain

An entire year’s worth of rain fell in the span of just a few days in central China, devastating the city of Zhengzhou, with a population of about 5 million, and leaving dozens dead as floodwaters inundated Henan province. The flash flood halted at least 10 trains holding a cumulative 10,000 passengers. Three of those trains were left on the tracks, with no escape for the passengers, for 40 hours, and 12 of those train passengers are now deceased. Meanwhile, the heavy rains continue to fall and the death toll continues to rise in the region. The Chinese government has resorted to blasting a dam in the area to divert the flooding and to relieve the pressure caused by the mounting waters.

The terror and tragedy experienced by the people directly impacted by the severe flooding can’t be overstated and is far and away from the greatest concern, but it is just one part of the story. Indeed, the devastation and disruption caused by the torrential rains extend far beyond the borders of the Henan province. “The floods drenching central China and submerging swathes of a major economic and transport hub are threatening supply chains for goods ranging from cars and electronics to pigs, peanuts and coal,” Reuters reported on Thursday. 

The economic fallout from this slowdown will further burden the people of central China who have already grappled with days of power loss, lack of transportation, and other challenges from the flooding. “Power had been partly restored and some trains and flights were running on Thursday,” the Reuters report continued, “but analysts said disruption could last for several days, pushing up prices and slowing business across densely populated Henan and neighbouring provinces.”

One of the most severely impacted sectors is the coal sector, which China still relies on for the majority of its energy mix, even as it attempts to phase out the high-polluting fossil fuel. What’s more, the interruption to the coal supply chain is occurring at a moment of peak demand as consumers use up more energy trying to beat the summer heat. 

Related: The Renewable Energy Waste Crisis Is Much Worse Than You Think

While the flooding in central China is historic, it’s likely going to become more and more of a common sight in coming years, as will these kinds of disruptions to supply chains caused by an increased incidence of severe weather patterns around the world thanks to the advance of global warming. “China routinely experiences flooding in the summer months,” the Guardian reported this week, “but rapid urbanisation, and conversion of farmland, as well as the worsening climate crisis, has exacerbated the impact of such events.

China is far from alone. All over the world, countries’ energy security is threatened by global warming and ever-more-frequent natural disasters, and powerful storm systems. Earlier this year we saw the devastation that an extreme cold snap caused in Texas when abnormally freezing temperatures plus a massive grid failure caused hundreds of deaths. Experts have also warned that the United States’ aging nuclear fleet is unprepared for global warming and the results could be disastrous if industry and political leaders are not proactive.  

In an era that is so deeply defined by globalization and ever longer and more complex supply chains, incidents like this week’s flooding in China are shedding a light on the importance of either making these supply chains far more resilient or diversifying and shoring up local markets. Storms like the one continuing to pound Zhengzhou are growing more common and more severe all the time, and they have the power to cripple essential supply chains that impact people's access to food and power overnight. Energy security and sovereignty has never been more important. 

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News