Electrification and power sector reform are interdependent challenges for countries around the world. Both will be central components of strategies to achieve ambitious carbon emissions reductions. In China, air quality challenges and other circumstances suggest a further urgency for electrification. Realizing the benefits of electrification in terms of carbon emissions reductions, better air quality and cost savings will depend on power sector reforms that change the evolution of the electricity generation mix and unlock the flexibility of electrified end uses. In particular, rational design and implementation of electricity markets, improved power sector planning and well-enforced environmental regulations are needed to motivate the move away from fossil-fueled generation while minimizing costs.

A Chinese language version of this brief is also available on our website.