On 12 October 2021, China’s top economic planner the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) held a press briefing to announce major changes to the power pricing arrangements for coal-fired power, as well as the way in which commercial and industrial power customers buy power. While the timing for these changes was obviously influenced by the recent power shortages, their content goes far beyond any short-term measures focused on resolving the current power supply issues. These new regulations represent a large step in China’s power sector liberalisation journey, with significant potential knock-on effects for its decarbonisation goals as well. This round of reforms is at least as important as the watershed “Document No. 9” released back in 2015, if not more.
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