China Issues White Paper on Energy Development, Pushing New Energy Reform

A white paper on China’s energy development was released Monday by the State Council Information Office, presenting a report card of the country’s achievements in energy development and major policies for energy reform and international cooperation.

Titled “Energy in China’s New Era,” the white paper states that China is unswervingly advancing its energy reform and that major changes have taken place in energy production and utilization.

As the largest energy producer and consumer, China’s transition to efficient energy utilization is also the fastest in the world, according to the document.

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The main body of the white paper is divided into seven sections: the development of high-quality energy in the new era, historic achievements in energy development, comprehensive efforts to reform energy consumption, the establishment of a clean and diversified energy supply chain, the leveraging of the role of innovation as the primary driver of development, deeper reform of the energy system in all areas, and the strengthening of international energy cooperation across the board.

China is building a clean and diversified energy supply system, the white paper said. The country gives priority to eco-environmental conservation and pursues green development by building supply-side structural reform in the energy sector and giving priority to non-fossil fuel energy. 

China has developed a focus on the utilization of non-fossil fuel energy and transitioning to a low-carbon and eco-friendly energy system, according to the white paper. China is pursuing to substitute low-carbon for high-carbon energy and renewable energy for fossil fuel energy. 

In addition, the white paper highlights the facilitation of the use of solar energy and wind power, in line with the principles of driving technological progress, reducing costs, expanding the market and improving the system.

The document also underlines international energy cooperation, as China promotes partnerships within the international community on the sustainable development of global energy. 

According to the white paper, China has further opened its energy sector by opening market access for foreign investment and reducing restrictions on access to the energy sectors of coal, oil, gas, electric power (excluding nuclear power), and new energy.

Pilot free trade zones were opened in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Hubei, Chongqing and Hainan, in addition to the entire oil and gas industry in the Zhejiang Free Trade Zone. While international energy companies such as ExxonMobil, GE, BP, EDF and SIEMENS are steadily expanding investment in China, major foreign investment projects such as Tesla’s Shanghai plant are underway.

China also facilitated the G20 Energy Efficiency Leading Program, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Energy Club, the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform, hosted the APEC Sustainable Energy Center in China, and cohosted the International Forum on Energy Transitions in cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and other international organizations.