On January 18, 2021, the NDRC and the NEA jointly issued a policy document providing guidance for the establishment of a unified national power market system. The government aims to preliminarily establish a national unified power market system by 2025, that is, the coordinated operation of the national market and the provincial (district, municipal) and regional markets, including the integrated regulation design of medium- and long-term contracts, spot power market and ancillary service market mechanisms; The scale of market-based transactions and green power transactions should increase significantly, and market transactions and pricing mechanisms that are conducive to the development of new energy and energy storage should have taken shape. By 2030, the system will be established essentially, the power market at all levels achieves joint operation, new energy will fully participate in market-based transactions, and market players will be able to compete fairly and choose independently.
This means that China will adopt a top-down approach to promote the construction of the national power market system. It is different from the reform path of power marketization in Europe. In Europe, the national and regional power markets are gradually coupled from the bottom up, while China establishes a top-level design first, then the government departments promote the integration of markets at all levels to this goal.