China and the Falling Price of Oil

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Dr Hao Tan discusses the impacts of the recent fall in oil price on China's energy transitions

In a January 7 article published on the UK Financial Times' Chinese website, Dr Hao Tan discussed the falling price of oil and the impact this has on China's energy transitions.

In this piece Dr Tan discussed several 'inconvenient truths' of the plummeting oil price for China. While in China's media there has been a sense that China, as a major oil importer, would benefit tremendously from the price fall, there are potential downsides.

For example, it could lead to a less efficient use of oil, making China's 2020 carbon intensity target more challenging. There is the potential to create disincentives for energy innovations and energy technology breakthroughs that are currently underway in China and throughout the world. It may also make China's economy more reliant on imported oil.

Dr Tan also noted that given the strong cyclical nature of the global oil market, the government should consider to fully spend the oil product consumption tax that has been increased recently to support the development of renewable energies and on other environment protection and energy conservation measures. From the energy companies' perspective, a counter-cycle strategy is worth considering for building their competitive advantage in the next oil price upturn.

Read the full article here (in Chinese).

This piece has so far been reposted in major Chinese news websites and/or cited by other outlets concerning economic and/or energy issues in China. Those include:,, the official site of the Ministry of Commerce of China,,, Shaihai Securities News (newspaper),,,,,,,,,,,,, Yahoo Hong Kong, and

Learn more about Dr Tan and read more of his publications at his Researcher Profile.

  • Dr Hao Tan
  • Phone: (02) 4921 6748

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