People in northeastern China have switched to flashlights, and generators as much of the country enforced power cuts to meet official conservation targets and ease shortages in some areas.

Iran PressAsia: News reports blame high coal prices they say make power companies reluctant to meet booming demand.

Factories in China’s busiest manufacturing provinces have been ordered to suspend production for up to a week, prompting concern global supplies of smartphones and other goods might be disrupted.

Now, urban neighborhoods are being blacked out, triggering pleas on social media for the government to solve the problem.

China’s power consumption is growing at almost double its usual rate, while the ruling Communist Party is trying to reduce energy intensity or the amount used per unit of economic output.

The cuts are “largely driven by energy consumption control measures, with power shortages affecting another few provinces,” Lara Dong of IHS Markit said in an email.

“This is in line with China’s decarbonization ambitions,” she said.

The Cabinet’s planning agency warned in August that 20 regions had exceeded energy use and pollution targets after manufacturing rebounded from the pandemic.

The government has ambitious plans to make the economy cleaner and more energy-efficient, so failing to meet those targets can be a career-ending blunder.