Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for market-oriented approaches and reform measures to safeguard the supply of power and coal for this winter and next spring, in order to ensure people's basic needs and keep the economy running steadily.
Li made the remarks on Friday while presiding over an executive meeting of the State Council, which also approved a law draft on protecting the Yellow River.
Factors including the hike in energy prices in the international market since the start of this year and the tight supply of power and coal in the domestic market have contributed to recent power rationing in some parts of the country, impacting normal economic operations and people's livelihoods, the meeting pointed out.
The meeting called for market-oriented approaches and reform measures to deal with the pressure on power and coal supplies for this winter and next spring, including transmitting gas from the south to the north of the country to increase gas-powered residential heating, as well as implementing temporary tax deferral policies for coal and power enterprises facing difficulties.
The market-oriented pricing mechanism for coal-fired power will be improved, according to the meeting. On the basis of maintaining stable electricity prices for household, agricultural and public good use, all coal-fired power will be incorporated into the electricity market in an orderly fashion.
The floating band of the market-based electricity transaction prices will now be adjusted in principle to a range of 20 percent fluctuation in either direction, from a ceiling of no more than 10 percent to a floor of no lower than 15 percent from the benchmark price, the meeting said.
The electricity prices for high energy-consuming industries can be shaped through market transactions, rather than being subject to the ceiling of 20 percent upward fluctuation.
The construction of key large-scale wind and photovoltaic power bases in desert areas, including the Gobi Desert, will be accelerated, it added.