China’s State Council on January 24 published a new work plan for energy conservation and emission reduction as a part of the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP), as reported by SCMP on January 25. The work plan reiterated that China’s energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) should decline by 13.5% by 2025 compared with 2020 levels. The plan outlined a set of measures and policies to realize the target, most of which are consistent with the policies announced earlier, such as low-emission modification on energy-intensive sectors, raising the proportion of non-fossil energy to 20% of China’s total energy consumption by 2025, and developing new energy vehicles (NEVs).
The new work plan came up with some more flexible policies to balance regional economic growth and environmental governance, compared with the stern emission and energy consumption rules which led to power crunches in multiple provinces of China from August to October 2021. The plan allows an adjustable cap on energy consumption in regions that see higher-than-expected economic growth and no longer sets the cap for the regions that meet the designated energy intensity goals. Furthermore, the plan stipulates that the increased renewable energy use in the 14th FYP period will be excluded from the energy consumption rating, and the fossil energies used for raw materials rather than fuels will be exempted from the energy-conservation and emission-reduction assessment.