Coal, power supplies 'will be sufficient'
China is confident that it can ensure sufficient coal and electricity supplies for the coming cold season, and energy needed to safeguard people's basic living standards and stable business operations will be available sufficiently, officials said.
Zhao Chenxin, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a news conference on Wednesday that China is ready to redouble its efforts to ensure safe and stable coal and electricity supplies and sufficient residential heating for this winter and next spring.
"China will ensure that coal and electricity supplies for the winter season and next spring will be sufficient, while our commitment of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 will also be realized," Zhao said, adding that holistic efforts have been made across departments to reach these goals.
With economic activity actively resuming globally, energy products in international markets have surged since the start of the year, and domestic supplies of coal and electricity in China have been tight, he said.
In response to the situation, coal mines with the potential to increase output will be urged to tap into their production capacity as soon as possible, and approved and basically completed open-pit coal mines will be encouraged to begin operations, he added.
Local governments will be asked to earnestly fulfill their responsibilities in ensuring coal and electricity supplies for residents and businesses, he said, while competent financing and fiscal policies to support coal mines to tide them over through tough times are already in the pipeline.
Ill-considered development of projects with high energy consumption and heavy carbon emissions will be resolutely curbed, Zhao said.
Yu Bing, deputy head of the National Energy Administration, said at the Wednesday briefing that the country does face some pressure in ensuring energy and electricity supplies, and therefore concrete efforts have been rolled out to cope with the challenge. A monitoring and early-warning system covering electricity and heating power supplies has been put in place.
Zhao said efforts will be made in particular to ensure residential-use energy supplies.
"Statistics show that residential use of electricity currently takes up about 15 percent of electricity consumption in total, while residential gas consumption accounts for less than 50 percent of the country's total gas consumption. Residential consumption of electricity and gas will be fully guaranteed, while local governments will be asked to heed fundamental residential energy demand," he said.
Wan Jinsong, head of the NDRC's pricing department, said the pricing mechanism for coal-fired power will go through market-oriented reforms in an orderly manner. The floating range of market-based electricity transaction prices is adjusted in principle to a range of 20 percent fluctuation in either direction, compared with the current ceiling of 10 percent and floor of 15 percent from the benchmark price.
On Saturday, a meeting of the National Energy Commission underlined the importance of ensuring stable energy supply and energy security and boosting green development support. It was noted during the meeting that the country should balance development and carbon reduction as well as deepen market-based reform in the energy sector, according to the meeting statement.
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