Overview of the Chinese Electricity Industry and Its Current Issues
In China, many ongoing problems in the electricity sector can be traced back to the old ‘centrally planned’ economy. Since the start of liberalization in the 1980s, the clash between a liberalized economy (excluding a few so-called strategic industries) and a centrally controlled electricity industry has gradually become more and more apparent. The Chinese electricity industry is in need of constructive restructuring. In the absence of a universal agreement on optimal industry design, the Chinese government should have a firm and clear understanding of the implications of electricity restructuring for long-term social welfare. Otherwise the electricity industry might, again, be locked into an inferior industry design which would be very costly to change.