China Energy Transition Policies 2020

Summary of China’s Important Energy and Climate Policies and Developments

President Xi Jinping’s announcement of peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, the end of the 13th Five Year Plan period and preparations for drafting the 14th Five Year Plan, and the coronavirus pandemic made 2020 a particularly important year for China’s energy sector.

This review of China’s most important energy transition related policies, examines the country’s achievements and trends in developing its energy sector in 2020. Although the review cannot exhaustively cover all issued energy-related policies, it selects and analyzes a wide breadth of important policies in China’s energy sector.

Energy Transition

  • NEA issues draft of the Energy Law for public comments
  • NDRC draft coal law focuses on rationalizing production and use, omitting mention of climate
  • China aims for carbon neutrality by 2060

Energy Supply

Coal, Renewable Energy, Energy Security
  • NEA releases risk warning on 2023 coal power planning and construction
  • NEA releases risk warning on 2023 coal power planning and construction
  • NEA notice: China to retire 7.3 Gigawatt of outdated coal power plants
Renewable Energy
  • Renewable energy feed-in tariff subsidy limits set for 2020
  • Overview of the financial support for solar power in China for 2020
  • China continues to tweak subsidies for renewable energy projects
  • DRC and NEA jointly issued draft guiding opinion regarding an integrated system that combines renewable energy with thermal energy and storage

Power Market

  • NDRC and NEA jointly issued medium- and long-term power trading principles
  • NEA issues draft on information disclosure for spot markets
  • NDRC issues goals and targets for regional power trading
  • NEA calls for public comments on establishing long-term mechanism for clean energy consumption

Energy Consumption

  • New manufacturing and services policy draft highlights role of life-cycle costs and energy conservation
  • MIIT published energy diagnosis guideline for key industries
  • NDRC and MoJ release guiding opinions on policy framework for green production and consumption

Regional Energy Transition

  • Shandong province adopts ambitious hydrogen development plan
  • Hainan issues energy plan calling for a shift to gas, nuclear, and renewables
  • Guiding opinion on accelerating development in western China points out energy development trend
  • Western regions encourage development of hydrogen and renewables
  • Shanxi Province not to grant priority dispatch to coal-fired power units approved after 2015

Green Finance

  • China excludes clean coal projects from list eligible for green bonds
  • Climate finance policy aims to raise amount of low-carbon finance by 2025

Sino-German Energy Partnership

The Sino-German Energy Partnership links three levels of action: high-level policy dialogue, business-to-government exchange and an exchange of experiences on technical and regulatory solutions that promote the energy transition. The main aim of the partnership is to foster and advance the far-reaching and profound energy transitions ongoing in both China and Germany by exchanging views, best practices and knowledge on the development of a sustainable energy system, primarily centered on improving energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy.