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On-grid electricity tariffs in China: Development, reform and prospects

By Jinlong Ma


With the introduction of market-oriented measures in China's power sector in the mid-1980s, electricity sale prices to the grid companies--on-grid electricity tariffs--became the focus of the energy industry, thus affecting all related stakeholders, including fuel suppliers, power generators and end-use consumers. A number of changes have gradually been undertaken in terms of electricity tariff settings and their implementation to address specific requirements of the expansion of the power industry at each stage of its development. On-grid electricity tariffs had been used as a key lever to attract investment in power generation at an early stage of reform and then to encourage competition in the power industry. In response to the rising concerns about environmental protection and the promotion of clean energy utilisation, tariffs have progressively been developed for renewable electricity generation, which has contributed to massive expansion of the renewable power industry in China. This paper reviews key milestones of the development of on-grid electricity tariffs in China, examines the tariff-setting mechanisms of coal-fired power plants and renewable power generation, analyses the factors associated with the adjustments of the tariff levels and discusses the options for further reform and more effective electricity pricing.On-grid electricity tariff Power generation China

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