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Oxford Energy Forum – China’s Energy Policies in the Wake of COVID-19 – Issue 125

The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies is a world leading independent energy research institute specialising in advanced research into the economics and politics of international energy across oil, gas and electricity markets.

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    The Oil and the Middle East Research Programme of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies was established in 2009. It is dedicated to the advanced study of contemporary oil markets, production, consumption and policy. With a historical focus on the resource-rich economies of the Middle East, research on the Programme...

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The year 2020 is an important year for China. President Xi Jinping, in his New Year speech in January 2020, called it a year of ‘milestone significance’ as the country was set to achieve its goal of building a ‘moderately prosperous society’—which entails doubling the size of the economy from its 2010 levels and eradicating poverty. At the same time,...

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Oxford Energy Forum - Issue 125

China's Energy Policies in the Wake of COVID-19

This edition of the Oxford Energy Forum assesses some of China's energy policy choices, the trade-offs between competing priorities, and what they mean for the 14th FYP.


China's power, gas and oil markets in the wake of COVID-19 and ahead of the 14th Five Year Plan

The China Energy Programme is holding a webinar on 30 September 2020, to discuss issues raised in the latest edition of the Oxford Energy Forum, dedicated to China. The day consists of three interactive sessions, analysing China’s power, gas and oil markets in the wake of COVID-19 and ahead of the 14th Five Year Plan (FYP).

As China emerges from its COVID-19 economic paralysis and gets back to work, its priorities for the next FYP are still in flux. Can Beijing pursue its commitment to structural change, including limiting the role of the state-owned sector in the economy, considering that this is the government’s most reliable way to support growth? How will the provinces deliver growth while also providing end-users with sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy? Can China liberalize its markets, and increase the flexibility of its energy sector, while also reducing its import dependency? When considering its energy transition, is China looking to position itself as a global climate champion, or more narrowly as a leader in clean tech?

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See Webinar Introduction →


9:00-10:00 AM - China’s Power Sector Ambitions: one step forward, two steps back?
China’s solar and wind power additions are slowing while coal power plants are being approved rapidly. How does this square with the country’s recent pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060? And how can China achieve its goals of market-oriented power sector reform without loosening the state’s grip over the sector?

11:00-12:00 PM – Prospects and challenges for gas market liberalisation
The launch of China’s midstream company (PipeChina) alongside ongoing efforts to open the sector to greater competition and pursue price reforms could prove transformative for China’s gas market. What are the next steps for PipeChina and what are the challenges it faces? Will this help or hinder new entrants to China’s gas sector and what are the implications for global LNG markets?

14:00-15:00 - China’s evolving role in global oil markets
China’s appetite for crude has provided a lifeline for oil markets in the wake of COVID-19, but it has also highlighted the country’s increasing pricing power globally. With crude flows shifting East, what are the implications for global benchmarks? How do state-owned companies and independent refiners exert their pricing power and will this change as China’s oil demand growth slows