China will redouble efforts to ensure safe and stable energy supplies and sufficient residential heating for the winter, the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Friday.
The meeting noted the recent surge in coal, electricity and natural gas demand across the country due to factors such as sharp temperature drop covering wide areas.
Competent departments have made all-out efforts to shore up production and supply of coal, electricity and natural gas. With daily coal output maintained at high levels and electricity generation and gas supply hitting new highs, these efforts have been effective in meeting the needs of residents and key sectors.
"Energy supply is a matter of warmth and health for the people, especially those in the northern region. It thus deserves our great attention," Li said.
Recent days have seen historic daily lows of temperature in several regions. Meteorologic agencies are expecting further temperature drops in mid-January.
Those at the meeting decided that gas fields will be mobilized for safe, full-capacity production, and gas storage facilities will be fully employed to ensure supply under emergency situations. Coordinated efforts are needed to guarantee gas supply for heating purposes where possible.
While ensuring safety, key regions and enterprises of coal production are urged to scale up production by tapping potentials, shore up delivery support, draw on reserves as conditions require, and take multi-pronged measures to maintain supply-demand balance.
Different types of power generation should be readied to meet rush-hour electricity demand and boost electricity supply. Inter-provincial electricity transmission will be stepped up to channel power from surplus regions to those suffering shortages.
Suppliers should be urged to fulfill their duties and ensure the supply of coal, electricity and natural gas in strict accordance with contracts. Regulators should strengthen production safety supervision and take swift measures against price manipulations.
"Keeping homes properly heated is of vital importance for the people, and greater efforts are needed to ensure natural gas, electricity and coal supply for the people. No deliberate outages will ever be allowed," Li said. "Governments at all levels shall intensify inspection and supervision, and any problem identified must be dealt with in a timely and effective way to ensure that the people stay safe and warm throughout the winter."
Energy provision mechanisms will be strengthened to ensure energy supply over the long run. The systems of energy production, supply, storage and sales will be enhanced. Natural gas and coal storage facilities and emergency backup power systems will be developed at a faster pace, and the role of coal power in meeting peak demand will be harnessed in a science-based manner, with a view to ensuring energy security.
"Stronger efforts shall be made to ensure safe and stable energy supply, with priority given to residential heating. It is important to power the heating facilities with the most efficient energy source based on local conditions and provide sufficient heating and power supply for residents, particularly for those in the colder northern region," Li said.