Anders Hove

Senior Research Fellow

Anders Hove joined the OIES China Energy Research Programme in October 2022. Previously, he was Project Director for the Sino-German Energy Transition project at GIZ, a German federal enterprise providing services in the field of international development cooperation, while also serving as a non-resident fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy. He worked in Beijing from 2010-2022 and has more than 20 years of public and private sector experience related to energy policy and markets, including 9 years on Wall Street and 12 years in China. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from MIT and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

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Since the end of 2023, policy documents in China have increasingly highlighted environmental protection and have either set tighter and more specific targets or called out the need for faster progress towards existing goals. 2024 also brings three important catalysts for accelerated environmental policy. First, the 14th Five Year Plan (FYP) interim report, published in late 2023, highlighted that China is not on track to meeting its CO2 and energy intensity targets. Second, as planning gets underway for the 15th Five-Year Plan, this year China will need to revisit its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) climate pledges. Third and related to these, China is expanding its emissions trading scheme (ETS) and is increasing penalties for non-compliance in energy-intensive industries.

But even as policy documents emphasize environmental protection, implementing climate goals remains a challenge. Disagreement between the Ministry of Environment and Ecology (MEE) on one hand and the National Energy Administration (NEA) on the other on carbon accounting guidelines is one case in point. As China looks to balance economic growth—in large part from energy intensive industries—with increased renewable penetration, carbon accounting is an important part of the toolbox. But with the NEA and MEE disagreeing on guidelines and fighting for policy making power, the lack of clarity raises uncertainty for companies, particularly those in the aluminum and cement sectors that will soon need to comply with mandates for both carbon and renewables. At the diplomatic level, the incompatibility of the two measures also complicates China’s response to the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

[post_title] => China’s policy pendulum shifts back toward environmental protection, but will bureaucracy get in the way? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chinas-policy-pendulum-shifts-back-toward-environmental-protection-but-will-bureaucracy-get-in-the-way [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-02-15 10:54:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-02-15 10:54:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=47022 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46980 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2024-02-02 11:06:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-02-02 11:06:31 [post_content] => What's in store for China's EV markets in 2024? Though China's EV sales growth has slowed, the market for New Energy Vehicles is still growing by about 2 million per year, having reached a market share of around 40% of new passenger vehicles in December 2023. Looking forward, what can we say about how the NEV market is evolving? What about charging, emissions, and policies? In this new Oxford Institute for Energy Studies slide deck, Anders Hove summarizes and digests these and other issues, drawing on multiple public data sources as well as his own analysis. While many industry observers are cautious on China's EV market this year, given the government's modest targets and efforts to tamp down on overcapacity in EV manufacturing, the revolution is still very much underway. [post_title] => An Update on China's EV Revolution [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => an-update-on-chinas-ev-revolution-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-02-02 11:06:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-02-02 11:06:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46980 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46846 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2023-12-15 13:35:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-12-15 13:35:48 [post_content] => 2023, as the mid-point of the 14th Five Year Plan is also when assessments begin ahead of planning for the next Plan in 2024. Yet the general direction of China’s energy and environmental policies and priorities has been confusing: Despite a weak macroeconomic picture, energy and commodity demand has grown strongly in 2023. And despite a commitment to peak carbon emissions before 2030, China has been increasing coal production and adding new capacity. This has translated into a confusing stance in climate diplomacy: The US-China Sunnylands Declaration suggested progress and ambition, China’s position at COP28 was more circumspect. Finally, with questions around the decarbonisation of China’s power sector, electric vehicle (EV) penetration continues to surge, even as sales slow. The domestic market seems to be facing a consolidation but exports are rising strongly. Countries in developed economies are now grappling with the need to protect their domestic auto industries from Chinese competition while also needing to accelerate the electrification of their fleets. What do these opposing trends means for China’s energy and environmental policies? This Comment looks back at China’s energy policies and markets in 2023 and discusses these contradictions, assessing what they mean for 2024. [post_title] => Four contradictions in China’s energy and environmental policies in 2023 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => four-contradictions-in-chinas-energy-and-environmental-policies-in-2023 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-12-15 13:35:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-12-15 13:35:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46846 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46837 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-12-12 13:34:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-12-12 13:34:15 [post_content] => Bidirectional charging capabilities will soon be offered on more electric vehicle (EV) models, but the market appeal and economic potential of this technology are largely unknown and widely debated. China is the largest EV market, and is also in the midst of a major build-out of distributed rooftop PV. The recency of these two trends, combined with the imminent arrival of bidirectional charging on the market, make it timely to evaluate the potential of combining these three technologies: PV, heat pumps, and bidirectional charging as an energy storage solution to enable home electrification. This study extends an earlier analysis of rural PV and heat pumps to include an evaluation of the potential for bidirectional EV charging in these areas. Bidirectional charging could help resolve the problem of midday PV overproduction, providing stored energy for heating and cooling loads, without the excessive capital cost of a home battery system. However, this study shows that under current electricity rates, bidirectional charging for rural residents is presently uneconomical. While bidirectional charging increases household self-sufficiency and improves integration of midday solar output, more incentives and electricity price adjustments would be necessary to make it economically attractive. [post_title] => Bidirectional charging as a strategy for rural PV integration in China [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bidirectional-charging-as-a-strategy-for-rural-pv-integration-in-china [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-12-12 13:34:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-12-12 13:34:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46837 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46741 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-11-21 10:48:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-11-21 10:48:16 [post_content] => A new paper by OIES Senior Research Fellow Anders Hove examines the latest developments in China’s electric power sector, including new capacity, power market reform policies issued this year, and their impact on the country’s climate goals:
  • The government's emphasis on energy security is contributing to a burst of coal power construction across China, in regions with ample coal capacity to meet peak and balance variable renewables. This appears to be driven primarily by the desire of provincial officials to lock in more infrastructure investments now, while coal plants are encouraged.
  • As the coal overcapacity problem worsens, financial losses at coal plants are driving the push to adopt a specific capacity payment for coal plants. The capacity payment policy announced in November 2023 could provide further incentive to build more coal capacity, which might eventually lead officials to weaken requirements for fully utilizing wind and solar energy, and even to discourage construction of new wind and solar capacity.
  • The coal overbuild, while aimed at improving reliability, will also lead to higher costs, especially compared to alternatives such as increasing power trading among provinces and regions, or increasing demand response by allowing greater price volatility in short-term power markets.
  • Coal overcapacity could restrict the interest in investment in new gas capacity and, in the absence of high-volume spot electricity markets, could reduce the dispatch of existing gas-fired power assets.
  • China remains committed to carbon neutrality and its renewable capacity is also expanding at an accelerating rate, including distributed solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage to balance the intermittency of renewables. Wind and solar will exceed China’s 2030 targets years ahead of schedule.
  • Nevertheless, tying up financial resources in excess coal capacity could ultimately slow the energy transition, such as through adoption of policies that restrict additions of new renewables or lead to lower utilization of existing renewables.
[post_title] => New moves in China's power market reform chess game [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => new-moves-in-chinas-power-market-reform-chess-game [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-11-21 13:04:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-11-21 13:04:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46741 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46438 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-08-08 11:08:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-08-08 10:08:42 [post_content] =>

China has a huge and growing influence on the global politics and economics of energy. The topic of China’s role in the new geopolitics of energy is hardly new, but the supply chain crisis following Covid and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 have combined to further elevate the topic. Decarbonization and the risk of de-globalization are increasingly central to energy policies and are framing the geopolitics of energy. China’s energy security concerns are also closely linked to these trends: China is a leading importer of oil and gas, so its energy supplies are exposed to price volatility, which is exacerbated by supply shocks due to instability in producer countries, transportation bottlenecks, and sanctions. But as China has established itself as the world’s leading manufacturer of renewable energy sources, and as the energy transition gathers momentum, China’s energy security opportunities and challenges are evolving.

From the point of view of advanced economies, China has long been viewed both as an economic partner and as an industrial competitor. Since the Paris Climate Agreement, China has been a central actor in climate diplomacy as well as a leader in clean energy, but China’s dominance of clean energy supply chains has raised concerns about whether Western countries can catch up. For many years, the example of China’s clean energy scale-up acted as a positive spur to more policy action, but since 2020 these efforts have taken on a more urgent and confrontational aspect as governments explicitly target reducing China’s dominance in specific technologies (batteries, solar) and critical materials. In other world regions, attitudes towards the role of China in energy geopolitics are vastly different and are informed, in part, by the deepening rift between China and the US. 

The rapidly changing role of China in world energy politics makes it important and timely to review the topic. In this issue of the Oxford Energy Forum, we present insights and views from experts from around the world, showcasing the broad range of views on China’s geopolitical position and trajectory. The issue discusses the role of China and perceptions of it in the geopolitics of hydrogen, renewables, power grids, minerals, finance, and carbon, combined with regional perspectives from Russia, the US, the Middle East, Africa, South-East Asia, and India.

[post_title] => Taking Stock of China and the Geopolitics of Energy - Issue 137 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => taking-stock-of-china-and-the-geopolitics-of-energy-issue-137 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-08-14 15:51:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-08-14 14:51:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46438 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46408 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2023-08-01 11:24:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-08-01 10:24:07 [post_content] => Green power trading is a market-oriented way to promote a clean energy transition in China. In practice, China’s leading instrument for this policy, the green certificate, has faced serious obstacles. A new OIES paper by Anders Hove and Gary Sipeng Xie examines the goals and history of the green certificate policy, and the major new challenges green certificates now face, as the market for renewables in China and abroad moves beyond the initial scale-up phase. In the past, China’s green certificate market was hampered by a basic design flaw, in that projects selling green certificates would lose the right to collect feed-in tariff subsidies. This not only made project owners reluctant to sell certificates for less than the subsidies, but it also stifled market interest given the significant price premium this implied. Now that more projects are coming online without feed-in tariff subsidies, and given the government’s belated recognition that green certificates would never take off unless removed from the issue of subsidy payments to older projects, this design problem looks set to fade into the background. But while there are positive trends in trading volumes and pricing, China’s green certificate market faces significant near-term obstacles around transparency, regulation, and its role—whether in meeting the low-carbon goal of private companies or in contributing to the provincial targets and quotas on energy consumption and renewable integration. [post_title] => Green certificates with Chinese characteristics: Will green certificates help China’s clean energy transition? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => green-certificates-with-chinese-characteristics-will-green-certificates-help-chinas-clean-energy-transition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-08-08 10:22:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-08-08 09:22:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46408 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46247 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-06-12 10:59:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-06-12 09:59:26 [post_content] => Rare earth elements (REEs) have many uses in the energy and defence industries, among others, and demand for them is set to increase rapidly in support of the low-carbon energy transition. Although the REEs are not geologically rare, China dominates the supply chain, accounting for 70% of global rare earth ore extraction and 90% of rare earth ore processing. Notably, China is the only large-scale producer of heavy rare earth ores. This dominance has been achieved through decades of state investment, export controls, cheap labour and low environmental standards. In light of the growing demand for REEs, industrialised countries have started to develop strategies to reduce REE supply chain risks.  Measures include promoting the opening of new mines and processing plants – including in third countries – technology measures to reduce demand for REEs, recycling, and international collaboration. Whilst these steps are likely to yield benefits in the long-term, the lead times for most of these initiatives will prevent China’s dominance of REE supply chains being significantly diminished before 2030. [post_title] => China’s rare earths dominance and policy responses [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chinas-rare-earths-dominance-and-policy-responses [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-06-12 10:59:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-06-12 09:59:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46247 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46129 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-05-04 10:46:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-05-04 09:46:03 [post_content] =>
  • Electrification of heating, particularly with highly efficient heat pumps, is increasingly viewed as essential for reaching the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. In China, rural heating has long represented a major contributor to local air pollution, poor indoor air quality, and significant greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning.
  • For years China has promoted replacement of dirty coal heating in rural areas, initially with natural gas, and more recently with clean coal stoves, both of which have significant emissions. More recently China has also begun promoting distributed solar PV as a rural development strategy, particularly with the launch of the Whole County PV pilots in 2021. The Whole County PV pilot program centres on having at least a minimum percentage of rooftops equipped with solar PV—20 per cent in the case of residential rooftops.
  • Several analyses have shown that heat pumps are economical in China, including when paired with solar PV.  However, the Whole County PV program has not been specifically studied.  This study suggests that expanding the Whole County PV program to incorporate energy efficiency and heating/cooling measures could represent an economically attractive way to accelerate the rural energy transition and improve rural livelihoods.
  • Barriers to such an approach include involvement of different government ministries, the cost of upgrading building insulation, the design of building codes, and the structure of electricity tariffs. While these barriers are significant, they also represent some of the same barriers that previously hindered distributed PV adoption, suggesting that the design of the Whole County PV program might be applied to help address these barriers.
  • From a wider perspective, residential heating and cooling represent a relatively straightforward way to abate carbon emissions, given that an economically attractive and technically viable technology already exists. Scaling up heat pump adoption in rural areas would also greatly expand manufacturing of heat pumps in China, with the potential to boost availability of low-cost heat pumps for adoption of this technology worldwide.
[post_title] => Synergies between China’s Whole County PV program and rural heating electrification [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => synergies-between-chinas-whole-county-pv-program-and-rural-heating-electrification [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-05-04 14:33:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-05-04 13:33:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46129 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46109 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-04-26 09:48:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-04-26 08:48:31 [post_content] => China’s all important “Two Sessions” wrapped up in Beijing on 13 March 2023, setting out the key macroeconomic priorities for the year and suggesting a cautious growth outlook. While Beijing set to deliver its “around 5%” GDP growth target—leading to a recovery in energy consumption—the nature nature of the economic rebound matters: Whether it is more consumer-led, as Q1 2023 data seem to suggest, or infrastructure-heavy will determine oil product use and the strength of gas consumption. The Two Sessions also emphasized coal and energy security, using new language about coal being the mainstay of the country’s energy system, a departure from previous policy documents that discussed coal’s gradual transition to a supplementary energy source. Despite this, clean energy additions are unlikely to slow so China’s 2030 and 2060 carbon peaking and neutrality goals remain within reach. But the policy stance on coal will limit the space for raising China’s climate ambitions or accelerating the low-carbon transition in industry. Meanwhile, the continued investment in coal infrastructure will make meeting the low-carbon objectives more challenging while raising the absolute quantity of carbon dioxide emissions over time. In its Two Sessions Work Reports and in subsequent guidance for 2023, the government emphasized energy security and called for an all-of-the above approach to energy supplies, with the exception of gas, where Beijing is limiting coal-to-gas switching for now. And just as the tension between coal and renewables was striking, so is the tension between the role of the State and markets: While markets were discussed at length, market reforms are still on the backburner as the government maintains a strong role in energy sector management. [post_title] => China’s climate and energy policy after the Two Sessions: More wait and see [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chinas-climate-and-energy-policy-after-the-two-sessions-more-wait-and-see [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-04-26 11:00:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-04-26 10:00:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46109 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45932 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-03-06 11:04:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-06 11:04:02 [post_content] =>

What’s the latest on China’s huge and growing EV market? 

Following up on our recent podcast with OIES Senior Research Fellow Anders Hove, this presentation delves into three main aspects of China’s rapidly accelerating EV revolution. 

What are the numbers and trends in EV sales, including by cost and size? 

How are battery chemistries shifting? 

Is charging keeping pace, and who has access to charging? 

[post_title] => An update on China's EV Revolution [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => an-update-on-chinas-ev-revolution [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-03-07 10:21:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-03-07 10:21:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45932 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45904 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-02-28 11:02:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-02-28 11:02:21 [post_content] => China’s low-carbon energy transition depends on the power sector taking the lead. In this assessment, we seek to answer three questions about China’s power sector transformation: (1) Is the power sector transition on track, in terms of non-fossil and renewable capacity and output? (2) Are market reforms in the power sector a prerequisite for China’s low-carbon transition? (3) Do efforts at international experience sharing and topics of cooperative research require adjustment? The paper assesses that China is making steady progress at decarbonising in some sectors, such as the power sector and transport, while others will require more time to assess. On market reforms, however, progress has been slow and appears likely to remain so. While to date, international cooperation on power sector cooperation has focused on evaluating the potential benefits of a target market model in China, the paper argues that efforts to highlight progress in technology or policy – both inside and outside China – may have greater impact on future policy discussions. [post_title] => Assessing China’s power sector low-carbon transition: a framing paper [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => assessing-chinas-power-sector-low-carbon-transition-a-framing-paper [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-03-14 10:34:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-03-14 10:34:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45904 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45867 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-02-20 11:15:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-02-20 11:15:17 [post_content] => China's reversal of its zero-COVID policy in December 2022 and macro policies aimed at reinvigorating economic activity point to a strong outlook for energy demand. But the sharp policy U-turns are also leading to volatility and uncertainty in the domestic market: Oil product stocks have drawn down while gas shortages have emerged in northern China. With oil demand likely to grow by 0.7 mb/d this year, and gas demand by close to 30 bcm y/y, there will be more volatility in the domestic market. In the power sector, China continues to add coal capacity due to the fear of repeat power outages, even though solar and wind had a strong year in 2022 and are expected to grow even more in 2023. Supply security will continue to dominate policy makers' priorities, raising questions about the speed and scope of power market reforms. [post_title] => China re-opens: Implications for energy markets and policies [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => china-re-opens-implications-for-energy-markets-and-policies [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-02-20 11:18:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-02-20 11:18:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45867 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45480 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2022-11-21 14:00:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-11-21 14:00:06 [post_content] => The 20th National Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started on 16 October 2022, with President Xi Jinping delivering the Party’s work report and ending with the unveiling of the new line-up of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee and other top Party leadership bodies. Not only was Xi Jinping appointed for an unprecedented third term in office, promoting allies to top positions, but the Congress was also eagerly observed for any indication of change in the country’s macro-economic and energy policies. Overall, the Party Congress signalled considerable policy continuity in terms of energy and climate. This Comment discusses these outcomes and Xi Jinping's Report, which includes both good, bad and lots of unknowns: The emphasis on coal as a source of energy security and resilience complicates the country’s dual carbon targets (to peak emissions before 2030 and strive to reach carbon neutrality by 2060), but the focus on renewables as part of the securitisation of everything suggest China will overshoot its targets, at least with respect to renewable energy. Similarly, the ongoing zero-COVID policy and the resulting economic weakness have led to a drop in Chinese emissions, and efforts to rebalance the Chinese economy could further benefit the dual carbon goals if implemented with a focus on efficiency gains. In the near-term, the Report and government statements suggest there will be limited change to the country’s zero-COVID policy, even as tweaks are being made to travel and quarantine guidelines. Meanwhile, the economic slowdown is leading to lower oil and gas imports—for now a positive in tight global gas markets, but a weakness for oil markets. Efforts to sustain economic activity, even if not at high levels, has already led the government to reverse its policy on oil product export quotas. This, in turn, will alleviate pressure in global diesel markets but raises questions about the government’s commitment to its peak emission targets in the refining and chemicals sector. The Report and outcome of the leadership transition also leave many open questions: to what extent will the new leadership, made up of President Xi’s confidantes who seem to support a growing role for the State in the economy, accelerate market reforms? How will the drive for technological self-sufficiency, combined with the US ban on exports of semiconductors impact China’s ability to scale up and export existing technologies that are critical for the energy transition? [post_title] => China’s 20th Party Congress and energy: The good, the bad and the unknown [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chinas-20th-party-congress-and-energy-the-good-the-bad-and-the-unknown [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-11-21 09:36:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-11-21 09:36:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45480 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45410 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2022-10-31 12:29:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-10-31 12:29:29 [post_content] => China is the world’s leading emitter of heat-trapping gases by a wide margin. Its policies for limiting emissions will have a significant impact on the global climate for decades to come. This Guide to Chinese Climate Policy provides information on China’s emissions, the impacts of climate change in China, the history of China’s climate change policies and China’s response to climate change today.

To download the Guide to Chinese Climate Policy visit the website.

[post_title] => The Guide to Chinese Climate Policy 2022 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-guide-to-chinese-climate-policy-2022 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-10-31 12:41:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-10-31 12:41:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45410 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [15] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44395 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2021-12-10 11:10:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-12-10 11:10:34 [post_content] =>

The global low-carbon energy transition will require major changes to institutional practices and energy industry paradigms with implications for society writ large. A country’s existing institutional pattern inevitably shapes the transition, and helps or hinders its progress. This is perhaps especially so in state-dominated systems such as China, which have historically considered energy as a strategic field for reasons of both security and economic development.

China has already taken steps to embrace clean energy, even as it remains the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels: Indeed, it is the world’s leading producer and consumer of renewable energy in absolute terms today, and the country’s leaders speak of encouraging a revolution in energy consumption and production, in line with new targets announced in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But how successful will China be in introducing the sweeping changes required? At the technological level, such changes could include replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, but they also require institutional shifts, which could entail major market reforms and changes to the structure of the Chinese energy sector, dominated now by SOEs and administrative planning.

This Insight examines how China’s institutional setting both contributes to and hinders the energy transition, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. It also aims to dispel the binary view of China’s governance and the energy transition, in which central government commitment is portrayed as the sole determinant of success. Finally, it sets out a preliminary framework for analysing the areas where technological and institutional factors make change more likely to be lasting and transformative, versus areas in which resistance will likely remain strong.

Historically, China has been better at building out energy supplies and adding the ‘hardware’ of energy infrastructure, while having greater difficulty adjusting the ‘software’ of institutional and societal change or practices related to energy demand and energy efficiency. We would argue that China is likely to continue to expand the hardware, given its strong institutions devoted to investing in supply. But China will struggle with the software as this relies on a demand pull, market incentives, and greater coordination among stakeholders and between sectors.

When considering innovation for the energy transition, the paper makes a similar argument: China’s technology innovation system has enabled innovation in first generation technologies. But will China’s strong incumbent industries impede the transformational change required for the more modular technologies that are less capital intensive and require greater societal involvement and coordination? China has come to dominate global supplies in manufacturing-intensive technologies – solar photovoltaics and batteries – which have also seen the most rapid cost declines due to scale. For design-intensive technology – such as wind, concentrating solar power plants, or advanced coal plants – cost declines have not been as pronounced. For those technologies that are less modular and more design-intensive, state-owned enterprises may play a larger role and the potential for transformative technological change could be slower to emerge.

  Read the full paper here - Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_title] => Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => software-versus-hardware-how-chinas-institutional-setting-helps-and-hinders-the-clean-energy-transition-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-12-13 09:57:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-12-13 09:57:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=44395 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [16] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44393 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2021-12-10 11:06:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-12-10 11:06:41 [post_content] =>

The global low-carbon energy transition will require major changes to institutional practices and energy industry paradigms with implications for society writ large. A country’s existing institutional pattern inevitably shapes the transition, and helps or hinders its progress. This is perhaps especially so in state-dominated systems such as China, which have historically considered energy as a strategic field for reasons of both security and economic development.

China has already taken steps to embrace clean energy, even as it remains the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels: Indeed, it is the world’s leading producer and consumer of renewable energy in absolute terms today, and the country’s leaders speak of encouraging a revolution in energy consumption and production, in line with new targets announced in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But how successful will China be in introducing the sweeping changes required? At the technological level, such changes could include replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, but they also require institutional shifts, which could entail major market reforms and changes to the structure of the Chinese energy sector, dominated now by SOEs and administrative planning.

This paper examines how China’s institutional setting both contributes to and hinders the energy transition, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. It also aims to dispel the binary view of China’s governance and the energy transition, in which central government commitment is portrayed as the sole determinant of success. Finally, it sets out a preliminary framework for analysing the areas where technological and institutional factors make change more likely to be lasting and transformative, versus areas in which resistance will likely remain strong.

Historically, China has been better at building out energy supplies and adding the ‘hardware’ of energy infrastructure, while having greater difficulty adjusting the ‘software’ of institutional and societal change or practices related to energy demand and energy efficiency. We would argue that China is likely to continue to expand the hardware, given its strong institutions devoted to investing in supply. But China will struggle with the software as this relies on a demand pull, market incentives, and greater coordination among stakeholders and between sectors.

When considering innovation for the energy transition, the paper makes a similar argument: China’s technology innovation system has enabled innovation in first generation technologies. But will China’s strong incumbent industries impede the transformational change required for the more modular technologies that are less capital intensive and require greater societal involvement and coordination? China has come to dominate global supplies in manufacturing-intensive technologies – solar photovoltaics and batteries – which have also seen the most rapid cost declines due to scale. For design-intensive technology – such as wind, concentrating solar power plants, or advanced coal plants – cost declines have not been as pronounced. For those technologies that are less modular and more design-intensive, state-owned enterprises may play a larger role and the potential for transformative technological change could be slower to emerge.

Read the short-version of the full paper here - OIES Energy Insight - Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_title] => Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => software-versus-hardware-how-chinas-institutional-setting-helps-and-hinders-the-clean-energy-transition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-03-15 12:18:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-03-15 12:18:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=44393 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 38790 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2020-06-22 11:11:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-22 10:11:15 [post_content] => For many years running, China has led the world in construction of new wind and solar facilities, yet China also continues to build new coal plants. Notwithstanding market reforms that have addressed some of the problems China previously experienced in integrating renewable energy, the trend for clean energy in China defies easy analysis. Indeed, several contradictions continue to exist: national guidance versus local implementation, support for coal co-existing with promotion of renewables, and slow roll-out of spot electricity markets. Based on the policies and government guidance released so far in 2020, China is likely to focus on keeping markets for wind and solar stable, while attempting to tackle structural issues on a step-by-step basis. While this could disappoint analysts who note the risk to public health and finances of further investments in fossil energy, the ultimate result could nevertheless favour a clean energy transition driven by a combination of both markets and policy. [post_title] => Current direction for renewable energy in China [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => current-direction-for-renewable-energy-in-china [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-22 11:11:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-22 10:11:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=38790 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 18 [current_post] => -1 [before_loop] => 1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 47022 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2024-02-15 10:54:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-02-15 10:54:12 [post_content] =>

Since the end of 2023, policy documents in China have increasingly highlighted environmental protection and have either set tighter and more specific targets or called out the need for faster progress towards existing goals. 2024 also brings three important catalysts for accelerated environmental policy. First, the 14th Five Year Plan (FYP) interim report, published in late 2023, highlighted that China is not on track to meeting its CO2 and energy intensity targets. Second, as planning gets underway for the 15th Five-Year Plan, this year China will need to revisit its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) climate pledges. Third and related to these, China is expanding its emissions trading scheme (ETS) and is increasing penalties for non-compliance in energy-intensive industries.

But even as policy documents emphasize environmental protection, implementing climate goals remains a challenge. Disagreement between the Ministry of Environment and Ecology (MEE) on one hand and the National Energy Administration (NEA) on the other on carbon accounting guidelines is one case in point. As China looks to balance economic growth—in large part from energy intensive industries—with increased renewable penetration, carbon accounting is an important part of the toolbox. But with the NEA and MEE disagreeing on guidelines and fighting for policy making power, the lack of clarity raises uncertainty for companies, particularly those in the aluminum and cement sectors that will soon need to comply with mandates for both carbon and renewables. At the diplomatic level, the incompatibility of the two measures also complicates China’s response to the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

[post_title] => China’s policy pendulum shifts back toward environmental protection, but will bureaucracy get in the way? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chinas-policy-pendulum-shifts-back-toward-environmental-protection-but-will-bureaucracy-get-in-the-way [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-02-15 10:54:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-02-15 10:54:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=47022 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 18 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 137b5b8cdc2fd3abe0bdaecd5c96bf44 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [allow_query_attachment_by_filename:protected] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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Ongoing research by Anders Hove