Provincial energy plans revealed

Local governments across China have begun to set policy goals for 2023 in their local sessions, ahead of the “Two Sessions” in early March when the central government will reveal its annual policy plans.

“Green” has been mentioned repeatedly in these local sessions, in which governments summarise last year’s work and look ahead to the new year, according to business news outlet 21jingji. More than half of provinces mentioned reducing carbon emissions and environmental pollution. Further details on implementing these reductions are yet to be revealed.

A number of governments have emphasised the green energy transformation. Provinces from the south-east coastal region are planning to further develop renewable energy and the accompanying storage. For instance, Guangdong and Zhejiang will keep building offshore wind power and pumped storage, and accelerate battery storage projects. Shanghai will build offshore wind, distributed solar photovoltaics, as well as electric vehicle charging and battery-swapping facilities.

While setting out energy transition strategies, some local governments have stated the need to guarantee supplies of coal, oil and gas, to ensure energy security. Especially in provinces that use a high proportion of fossil energy, such as Shanxi and Hebei, governments have stressed “the clean and efficient use of coal” – while also proposing to accelerate the energy structure adjustment.

Meanwhile, Shaanxi proposed the construction of four coal mines to ensure enough coal production and Xinjiang proposed to increase the exploration and development of oil and gas resources.

During the 20th Party Congress last October, top-level speeches showed concerns for the security of energy, food and supply chains. Following that, China’s central economic working conference in December stressed that the phaseout of fossil fuels should be based on “safe and reliable replacement by renewable energy”.

Read China Dialogue’s earlier report on China’s 14th Five Year Plan for energy (2021–2025).