China lifts restrictions on foreign investment in the country’s energy sector

A white paper released by China on Monday says the country has lifted restrictions on foreign investments in all energy sectors, including fossil fuels, new energy sources, and electricity generation excluding nuclear power.

According to the paper, called ‘Energy in China’s New Era’, “market access for foreign capital in the energy sector has been extended, private investment is growing, and investment entities have become more diverse.”

The government also said that “China has accelerated reforms such as the deregulation of the oil and gas exploration market and the circulation of mining rights, reform of the pipeline network operation mechanism, and the dynamic management of crude oil imports.” 

China has been increasing energy cooperation and exchanges with other countries, and facilitating international trade and investment in the energy sector.

Last year, Chinese authorities lifted restrictions on foreign investment in oil and natural gas exploration and production, opening the energy sector to foreign participation without a requirement to form joint ventures with local companies. The government has also removed the access restrictions to construction and operation of pipeline networks for gas and heat supply in cities with a population of more than 500,000 residents.

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According to the white paper, China has become the world’s largest energy producer and consumer and its transition to efficient energy utilization has been the fastest in the world.

Preliminary calculations showed that in 2019, the consumption of clean energy (natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power, wind power) accounted for 23.4 percent of total energy consumption, an increase of 8.9 percentage points over 2012, and non-fossil energy accounted for 15.3 percent of total energy consumption, up 5.6 percentage points against 2012.

“With this China has reached the target of raising the share of non-fossil energy to 15 percent in total energy consumption by 2020,” the report said.

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