China has shut down more than 6 percent of the power generating capacity in its southern provinces because of a coal shortage, with the region bracing for the worst electricity shortage in at least five years. Guangxi has shut 2.3 gigawatts, Guizhou 4.2 gigawatts and Yunnan 3.8 gigawatts, Xiao Peng, vice president of China Southern Power Grid Co., said in Beijing today. China’s southern provinces have 164 gigawatts of combined capacity, he said. “The problem is serious,” Xiao said. “We have sent an urgent request to the central government to address the issue,” he said at the China 2008 Economic & Energy Outlook conference.