The five-province Southern Grid region has long been a testing ground for new policies and reforms. Most recently, the central government asked the region to become the first integrated regional electricity spot market. Starting from the central government’s call for an “energy revolution,” RAP developed a detailed set of recommendations and engaged in discussion with a panel of experts, officials and stakeholders in the region. The resulting paper is also relevant for the other parts of the country grappling with power sector reform.

In the paper, we look at perspectives from the discussions in other countries that are grappling with power sector transformation agendas. We also talk about pragmatic steps for the next five years or so for energy policy, market design, planning and associated policies — given the institutional context and current status of reforms in the Southern Grid region. Our analysis takes a wholistic perspective, considering the interrelated challenges of emission reduction, cost reduction and reliability.

Accordingly, we take a wide lens and discuss market reform, planning reform, renewable energy integration, flexibility, development of demand side resources, electrification policy, retail pricing and emission pricing — among other measures — which should ideally form together parts of a well-coordinated overall policy package.

A slightly abbreviated version of this paper has been published in Chinese in three parts (herehere, and here) in Southern Grid’s influential Energy Observer publication. A complete Chinese version of the paper is available here.