Enhancing the energy legal system to ensure security during the energy transition

Workshop on Sino-German Energy Policies, Laws and Mechanisms in Supporting Energy Transition
Participants of the Workshop on Sino-German Energy Policies, Laws and Mechanisms in Supporting Energy Transition

Ensuring energy security is an essential factor in the success of the low-carbon energy transition around the world. Both Germany and China have faced energy security challenges in the last twelve months: Germany due to the urgent need to substitute gas and oil supplies, and China due to energy and electricity supply shortages in late 2021. Both Germany and China are making great efforts to ensure energy security via new laws and regulations, as well as via improving the infrastructure and operation of electric power system.

Endorsed by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), National Energy Administration (NEA) and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Sino-German Energy Partnership and Energy Transition Project of GIZ, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme of GIZ together with Legal Branch of China Electricity Council (CEC), jointly organized the workshop “Sino-German Energy Policies, Laws and Mechanisms in Supporting Energy Transition” on Aug. 31, 2022. The event focused on the policy making, legislation, rules and regulations in the context of the energy transition, and discussed on how policies, laws, regulations and rules can better incentivise renewable energy development, effectively support energy transition, and ensure energy security in the meantime. 

Government officials from the National Energy Administration (NEA) of China, the National People's Congress (NPC), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Justice and the German Embassy in China, energy and legal experts from the German Energy Agency (dena), Chinese central enterprises in the energy sector and academic institutions and think tanks from both countries joined the event and shared their insights on this topic.

During the workshop, Mr. Liang Zhipeng, Deputy Director General of the Department of Law and Reform of the National Energy Administration of China, and Ms. Andrea Juenemann, Minister Counsellor of the German Embassy in Beijing, delivered speeches on behalf of the Chinese and German governments. Both sides expressed the need for an in-depth exchange of energy-related legal frameworks between China and Germany in the process of energy transition, and for mutual learning and reference. They called on China and Germany to work together to contribute to global sustainable development, to protect the global climate.

In the following session, Dr. Tim Mennel from the German Energy Agency (dena) introduced the policy framework, specific targets and relevant laws and regulations related to energy development and climate protection in both Germany and EU, as well as their positive impact on promoting the German energy transition. Prof. Yang Lei from the Energy Research Institute of Peking University presented the guiding principles of China's energy transition and the achievements made in the past ten years; and made recommendations on the legislative framework needed to promote energy transition, ensure energy security, and achieve carbon neutrality.

In the panel discussion session, Chinese and German experts and scholars focused on addressing the following two issues:

  • The role of policies and legislation in ensuring energy security in the context of energy transition in China and Germany
  • The legislative mechanisms and policy frameworks in supporting the power system during energy transition

The experts pointed out that to promote the energy transition, legislation should support

  • Defining the role of renewable energy in the energy mix
  • establishing a sound system and legal framework suitable for the energy transition
  • encouraging the role of market mechanism in the energy transition process.

Another suggestion is that China should speed up the revision of the existing Renewable Energy Law to adapt to the new trend to promote and accelerate the energy transition.

In the concluding remarks, Mr. Pan Yuelong, the Chief Supervisor of China Electricity Council (CEC) and the president of Legal Branch of CEC addressed that China should further improve its energy legislation framework, and “1+N” policies system of carbon peaking and neutrality to support clean, low carbon, secured and efficient modern energy system. Mr. Liang Zhipeng, Deputy Director General of NEA, pointed out that China is still in the initial stage of energy transition, and as the speed of transition accelerates, it will encounter new challenges that require more legal regulation and guidelines. This requires energy authorities in China and Germany to continue strengthening the in-depth exchanges and cooperation in the legislative development in the energy sector.

To follow up, GIZ will continue to facilitating more cooperation and exchange on legal and policy issues in the context of the energy transition under the framework of the Sino-German Energy Partnership, sharing best practices of Germany's energy transition, advancing the low-carbon transition in the energy sector to meet the climate goals of both countries.