In response to the criticisms raised by the Central Environmental Inspection Team (CEIT) in January 2021, the National Energy Administration (NEA) published a detailed rectification plan on 31 August, committing to establishing a secure energy system in line with national climate targets. NEA’s plan focuses on meeting China’s stated targets of 1,200 GW of wind and solar by 2030, developing clean energy bases in China’s western provinces along with transmission corridors (as already stated in the 14th Five-Year Plan outline), controlling energy- and emissions-intensive projects, and promoting the efficient use of coal. NEA also discussed various energy sector reform plans it will continue to promote, such as policies related to improving renewable energy integration through mandating provincial consumption as well as end-user uptake. Furthermore, the NEA will aim to increase the share of renewable energy in cross-provincial transmission corridors—to a share of exported renewable energy in transmission corridors over 50% as stated in a policy draft from March 2021. Finally, NEA pledged to work on a methodology for calculating renewable curtailment.
On the critical issue of coal, which the CEIT had singled out for harsh criticism, NEA repeated past language regarding the promotion of low-emissions coal plant retrofits and eliminating outdated production, while promoting clean heating in northern regions. The report of CEIT criticized NEA for failing to limit the expansion of coal-fired power plants across China. The report also stated that NEA insufficiently promoted low carbon energy and failed to implement regulations on environmental and climate protection in energy planning.
CEIT is a cross ministries working mechanism established under the Environmental Protection Inspection Plan and reports to Vice Premier HAN Zheng. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC) and State Council, CEIT deploys environmental inspectors to China’s provincial governments and other government ministries.