Seven Decades of China’s Energy Industry Development: Retrospect and Outlook

Zhu Tong

Institute of Industrial Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract: China’s coal, petroleum, natural gas and electric power industries are in different stages. Coal has a falling share in China’s energy mix, and clean coal is on the

rise. While China’s petroleum production stagnates, the natural gas and electric power industries are developing rapidly. Amid the changing energy industries, China’s energy regulatory system has evolved from vertical to integrated management, and energy administrative and supervisory functions have become integrated over time. These changes have played different roles during specific periods, either enhancing or hampering a high- efficient development of China’s energy industry. Over the past seven decades, China’s energy industry has acquired important capabilities to support the nation’s social and economic development. With industrial prowess in clean energy and energy efficiency, China has become a leader in global low-carbon and clean energy transition. In the future, China should attach great importance to the adverse short-term effects of energy transition on its energy security. By deepening energy institutional reform, China should enhance its energy security through energy transition.

Keywords: energy industry, retrospect, outlook

JEL classification code: Q43; Q47; O13 DOI: 10.19602/j.chinaeconomist.2019.1.02

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