Philip Andrews-Speed

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Philip Andrews-Speed is a Senior Research Fellow with OIES’ China Energy Research Programme. He is also Senior Principal Fellow at the Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore. He started his career as a mineral and oil exploration geologist before moving into the field of energy and resource governance. His main research interest has been the political economy of the low-carbon energy transition. China has been a particular focus for his research, but in recent years he has been more deeply engaged with energy challenges in Southeast Asia. Philip has published extensively on China’s energy governance in academic and policy fora. His latest book, with Sufang Zhang, is China as a Global Clean Energy Champion: Lifting the Veil (Palgrave, 2019).

Contact

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                    [post_content] => Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has focused attention on energy supply chains and contributed to growing unease in the West about the fact that supply chains for the commodities necessary for the global energy transition are highly concentrated in China (or are under Chinese control).

Concerns range from cyber security through to security of energy supply and economic security. The disruption to energy supply chains caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was felt mainly in terms of the physical supply of gas to Europe and the impact this had on the global market. In this context, this paper considers the implications of threats to the physical supply of some of the critical materials and products that the UK requires for its energy transition.

Link to RUSI occasional paper.
                    [post_title] => New Energy Supply Chains: Is the UK at Risk from Chinese Dominance?
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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 ) [2] => 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 ) [3] => 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 ) [4] => 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 ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45643 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-01-06 11:34:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-01-06 11:34:22 [post_content] => With an installed capacity of 56 GWe, China has the world’s third largest fleet of civil nuclear reactors after the U.S. and France and its ambitious expansion programme will give it the largest fleet by 2030. The government’s policy objectives driving this programme are fourfold: enhancing security of energy supply, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, promoting advanced industrial and technological development, and boosting technology exports. In 2021, nuclear power provided roughly 4.8 per cent of China’s electricity supply, 2.3 per cent of primary commercial energy supply and 25 per cent of non-hydro, low-carbon electricity. The country has made great progress in catching up with the most advanced developments in other countries, notably with Generation III and high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. However, it still struggles to deliver more sophisticated technologies such as fast reactors, advanced fuel development and reprocessing. Despite claims that up to 30 nuclear reactors would be built across the world by 2030 as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the only new overseas plants to have been built recently are in Pakistan. Meanwhile, construction of new reactors within China continues apace and installed capacity could exceed 300 GWe by 2050. At the same time, new technologies are being developed that could allow Chinese companies to become the world’s dominant vendors of nuclear reactors in the future. [post_title] => Nuclear Power in China: its role in national energy policy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => nuclear-power-in-china-its-role-in-national-energy-policy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-03-15 12:21:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-03-15 12:21:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45643 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => 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 ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45217 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2022-09-01 11:16:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-01 10:16:48 [post_content] => Many countries, including in Asia Pacific, have announced pledges to variously peak greenhouse gas emissions or achieve net zero emissions in the coming decades. In many countries, the low-carbon energy transition will require a radical change in systems for space heating and cooking. This is especially important in regions with long, cold winters. Whilst many of these regions today rely on electricity or natural gas, China is an exception where coal accounted for 12% of final energy consumption in buildings in 2019. Traditional biomass accounted for 13%. This compares to a global average of 4% and 19% respectively.  Within China, the use of coal for winter heating and cooking is particularly prominent in the northern regions. Not only are the winters long and cold, but the production and use of coal have formed the core of the economy for decades. For this reason, the government has embarked on a programme to introduce clean heating and cooking systems across northern China to reduce the use of coal and traditional biomass. This paper addresses challenges in the introduction of clean heating. The focus is on Shanxi Province in northern China, being the country’s heartland for coal production and consumption. It is argued that although achieving significant success, China’s programmes for introducing clean heating encountered significant obstacles to implementation. These challenges arose from a combination of the top-down campaign style of the programmes that led to poor policy coordination and the inadequate scale of available financial resources. [post_title] => Managing the social consequences of the transition away from coal: the case of clean heating in Shanxi Province, China [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => managing-the-social-consequences-of-the-transition-away-from-coal-the-case-of-clean-heating-in-shanxi-province-china [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-01 11:16:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-01 10:16:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45217 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45184 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2022-08-19 14:18:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-19 13:18:59 [post_content] => The low-carbon energy transition will have severe negative socio-economic consequences for some economic regions, sectors, and social groups for many years to come. The social groups most impacted will include those involved in the supply chain for coal, especially in those countries or regions where coal plays a central role in the energy sector and the wider economy. Shanxi Province in north China is one such region.  The aim of this Energy Insight is to examine is to examine the distributive justice aspects of reduced coal mining employment. In other words, the compensation and assistance provided to unemployed miners. Whilst the lessons from China may not be directly relevant to other countries with large coal mining industries, the experience of Shanxi does reveal the scale of financial and administrative resources that will be needed, as well as the challenges involved, in managing distributive justice during the low-carbon energy transition. [post_title] => Managing the social consequences of the transition away from coal: the case of job losses in Shanxi Province, China [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => managing-the-social-consequences-of-the-transition-away-from-coal-the-case-of-job-losses-in-shanxi-province-china [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-22 06:25:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-22 05:25:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45184 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45147 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2022-08-08 11:20:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-08 10:20:40 [post_content] => Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to strongly impact international energy markets, posing severe challenges for energy importing countries. Much of the commentary and analysis has been focused on the consequences for, and reactions of, European nations and the European Union. Despite the fact that each region has its own specific dynamics, the global nature of energy markets means that the effects of the conflict in Ukraine are felt around the world, and Asia is no exception. Most countries in Asia are net importers of fossil energy. International prices of crude oil and LNG were already rising in the later months of 2021, but the war in Ukraine accentuated this rise. While Asian buyers have been picking up discounted cargoes of oil and coal, there have been new costs and complications as energy, food, and other supply chain flows are adapting to sanctions. The immediate impact of these high energy prices and supply chain disruptions is seen in rising costs across many sectors – whose supply chains were barely recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption of grain supplies from Ukraine and Russia has had particularly severe consequences for food prices, posing serious challenges for governments and peoples. Not only could this distract from the need to address climate change, but the growing frequency of extreme weather events may accentuate existing poverty and inequality. These phenomena provide the context within which this commentary examines the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Asian energy markets, focusing on the direct exposure of Asian countries to Russian energy exports, as well as on the direct and indirect impacts of the short-term price increases.  [post_title] => Asian Energy Markets Following the Russian Invasion of Ukraine [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => asian-energy-markets-following-the-russian-invasion-of-ukraine [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-10 11:52:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-10 10:52:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=45147 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => 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 ) [11] => 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 ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44324 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2021-11-17 11:30:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-11-17 11:30:09 [post_content] => Power outages in China were widely expected this year after the country experienced some rationing in December 2020 and then again over the summer. In early September a handful of localities were seeing shortages, but by October over 20 Chinese provinces were curbing or rationing power supplies, not only for industrial, but also residential users, a rare occurrence for a country aiming to prioritise household energy supply. The reasons for these outages are widely covered but also highly debated: is it high coal prices or the “dual control” policies — the cap on provincial energy consumption and the energy intensity reduction target set by the central government? While there are a number of factors contributing to the power outages, the mixed signals from the central government combined with pricing distortions in China’s power market are at the heart of this crisis. This comment briefly reviews the causes of the power outages, their near-term market impact on oil and gas as well as the outlook for power pricing reform and the extent to which they are changing the thinking in China about the 2030-2060 goals. [post_title] => China's power crisis: Long-term goals meet short-term realities [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chinas-power-crisis-long-term-goals-meet-short-term-realities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-11-17 11:30:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-11-17 11:30:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=44324 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 43523 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2021-03-16 10:45:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-03-16 10:45:56 [post_content] =>

On 11 March 2021, the Chinese government ratified its 14th Five Year Plan and long-term targets for 2035. Since this is the first Five Year Plan (FYP) published following China’s announcement in September 2020 that it would aim to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060, it was expected to be a strong indicator of China’s commitment to this pledge and a first concrete step toward it, although viewing it as a bellwether of China’s ambitions may be misguided. This comment discusses some of the key statements from the Plan regarding energy and the environment, as well as five themes that will be important to watch over the next few years.

The overarching Plan seems weak in terms of its climate ambition and heavy on self-sufficiency, but these are early days, as more details will emerge with sectoral and provincial plans in the coming months. Still, there are a number of inherent policy tensions that will plague the upcoming plan. It will be important to watch whether these are addressed (although they are unlikely to be resolved) in sectoral plans; whether or not the political framework evolves in support of a stronger climate agenda, either through stronger ministries, leading groups, or improved coordination. The development of the emissions trading scheme will also be important, although we argue that even though it is a significant step for China, its near term impact on emissions in the power sector will be limited. Finally, we argue that despite slower oil demand growth, refining additions will continue in the near term, and that even though the decarbonisation agenda may weaken gas demand in the long-term, liberalisation efforts (and potentially some coal to gas switching) will be a boon for gas demand in the near-term.

[post_title] => Key issues for China’s 14th Five Year Plan [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => key-issues-for-chinas-14th-five-year-plan [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-03-16 10:45:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-03-16 10:45:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=43523 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 42195 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2020-10-28 10:51:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-10-28 10:51:20 [post_content] => The COVID-19 pandemic has created what can be termed a critical juncture from the perspective of the low-carbon transition. Nations have the opportunity to use their economic recovery plans to accelerate this transition. As an upper-middle-income country, China might be expected to build on its recent successes and accelerate the pace of its low-carbon energy transition. Until recently, the Chinese government has been relatively successful in constraining the rise of emissions through a mix of economic, energy and technology policies. This trend appeared to be under threat in October 2019 when Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, argued that China should make better use of its domestic resources of coal, oil and natural gas to enhance national security of energy supply, presumably in response to the trade conflict. In contrast, almost one year later, in September 2020, President Xi Jinping announced that China would achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. These two, apparently contradictory policy announcements, bracketed the launch and delivery of the national economic recovery plans. In this context, the paper addresses the question of whether the year 2020 marks a critical juncture in China’s management of the low-carbon energy transition. In simple terms, the events of 2020 could yield one of three medium- to long-term trends: The juncture could become critical in a positive way. In this case, the pandemic, along with Xi Jinping’s announcement, would trigger an acceleration of country’s low-carbon energy transition. Conversely, a focus on economic growth, employment and security of energy and material supply might render the juncture critical in a negative way by undermining recent achievements and boosting carbon emissions. Finally, the juncture may not become critical in which case trends in the energy sector would continue as before. To address the question, this paper carries out a document analysis of the economic recovery plans and the energy policies announced in the first ten months of 2020 and reveals that the economic recovery plan has few distinctly green features. In the energy sector, these priorities favour fossil fuels and self-reliance. The paper then contrasts these policy approaches with President Xi’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2060 and concludes that whilst the preceding policies did not reflect a critical juncture, the President’s bold call may do so, but the challenges ahead will be formidable. [post_title] => Does 2020 mark a critical juncture in China’s low-carbon energy transition? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => does-2020-mark-a-critical-juncture-in-chinas-low-carbon-energy-transition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-11-17 10:02:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-11-17 10:02:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=42195 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 15 [current_post] => -1 [before_loop] => 1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 47070 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2024-02-26 11:26:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-02-26 11:26:59 [post_content] => Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has focused attention on energy supply chains and contributed to growing unease in the West about the fact that supply chains for the commodities necessary for the global energy transition are highly concentrated in China (or are under Chinese control). Concerns range from cyber security through to security of energy supply and economic security. The disruption to energy supply chains caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was felt mainly in terms of the physical supply of gas to Europe and the impact this had on the global market. In this context, this paper considers the implications of threats to the physical supply of some of the critical materials and products that the UK requires for its energy transition. Link to RUSI occasional paper. [post_title] => New Energy Supply Chains: Is the UK at Risk from Chinese Dominance? 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Latest Publications by Philip Andrews-Speed

Ongoing research by Philip Andrews-Speed