俄乌冲突给我国能源安全的十大启示
Return to the Library

Ten Revelations from the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Concerning China’s Energy Security

俄乌冲突给我国能源安全的十大启示

The chief economist at a state-owned energy investment firm argues that in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China must diversify its energy sources, increase its energy independence, and promote the use of the RMB for pricing and settling international energy transactions.


FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintCopy Link
Original text
PDF
English text
PDF
See an error? Drop us a line at
View the translated and original text side-by-side

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for two months and at present there is still no sign of a turnaround or improvement. With the unprecedented economic sanctions and unreasonable suppression of Russia by Western countries led by the United States, in reality, this conflict is no longer a simple battle between two countries—Russia and Ukraine—but is a struggle in the geopolitical relationship between the United States and Russia and over world energy hegemony. In today’s world, geopolitics and energy strategies are intertwined. As long as any country touches the “network” of U.S. global hegemony and refuses to submit to its will, no matter how big or small, how powerful or weak, at some point, it will inevitably experience the sanctions and pressure which Russia is currently suffering.

俄乌冲突已持续了两个月,目前仍没有好转和改善的迹象。随着以美国为首的西方国家对俄罗斯实施史无前例的经济制裁和推波逐澜的无理打压,实际上这场冲突再也不是简单的俄乌两国间的争斗,而是美俄关系地缘政治和世界能源霸权的争夺。当今世界地缘政治与能源战略相互交织,任何国家只要触碰到美国的全球霸权的“网络”并拒绝屈从其意志,无论大小和强弱都免不了在某个时候会经历俄罗斯目前所遭受的制裁与打压。

How, from an energy perspective, to explore the problems and risks brought by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, what “after-effects” it will bring, what insights China needs to derive from it, and what preparations we need to make to take preventive measures, is a set of strategic questions which deserve everyone’s serious consideration.

如何从能源视角探究俄乌冲突带来的问题与风险,将会产生的哪些“后遗症”,我国需要从中得到哪些启发并做好充分准备,以防患于未然,是一个值得大家认真思考的战略性课题。

Specifically, the Russia-Ukraine conflict will bring the following ten revelations for China’s energy security:

具体来说,俄乌冲突将会给我国能源安全带来以下十大启示:

Revelation 1: The energy rice bowl must be firmly grasped in our own hands

启示之一:能源饭碗必须牢牢端在自己手里

Energy is both the lifeblood of a modern economy, and the cornerstone of modern society’s survival and development. Every leap in the development of energy leads to the rapid progress of human production technology and promote the rapid development of productivity. Whether it is from the age of charcoal to the age of coal, or from the age of coal to the age of oil, or the subsequent development of atomic energy and the entrance onto the stage of a flurry of new energy sources, these developments have all brought new vitality to civilizations that have been close to a standstill. If you cannot keep a firm hold of your country’s energy lifeline in your own hands, all that’s left is to passively take a beating.

能源既是现代经济的命脉,也是现代社会赖以生存和发展的基石。能源发展的每一次飞跃,都会引起了人类生产技术的突飞猛进,推动了生产力的快速发展。无论是从木炭时代到煤炭时代,还是从煤炭时代到石油时代,以至于后来的原子能开发和各种各样的新能源纷纷登上舞台,都曾使几近停滞的文明孕育出新生机。如果不能把本国能源命脉牢牢掌握在自己手中,就只有被动挨打的地步。

Current European sanctions on Russia’s energy sector are akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater or, as the saying goes, sacrificing 1,000 to kill 800 enemy troops: Germany suspended the certification of the famous Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project, meaning the completed gas pipeline is not carrying gas. Western energy giants in quick succession each withdrew from the Russian market, collectively restricting Russian coal, oil, and gas imports. Fortunately, Russia is a big energy country, so there is no need to worry about energy being put in a stranglehold by Western countries. For others, such an energy blockade would be the same as a death sentence.

这次欧洲对俄罗斯能源领域的制裁可谓是玉石俱焚,“杀敌八百,自损一千”:德国暂停了大名鼎鼎的“北溪-2”天然气管道项目的认证,让本来已建成的输气管硬是通不了气,西方能源巨头纷纷退出俄罗斯市场,集体限制俄罗斯煤炭、石油和天然气的进口。好在俄罗斯是能源大国,不用担心能源被西方国家“卡脖子”,否则只需要借助能源封锁这一招,就会让你一剑封喉、置于死地。

Revelation 2: The establishment of an RMB-denominated energy trading system should be accelerated

启示之二:打造以人民币计价能源交易体系应当加快

Finance is at the heart of the modern economy. Since the start of the conflict, Western countries’ economic sanctions against Russia, especially financial sanctions, have stopped at nothing. Nearly half of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves have been frozen by Western countries, and SWIFT, the common international payment method, has excluded them, causing Russia’s economy to be instantaneously “isolated” by the West. Then there has been a string of different dazzling “list-pulling” methods such as canceling Russia’s trade most-favored-nation treatment and freezing the huge assets of Russian oligarchs.

金融是现代经济的核心。自冲突以来,西方国家对俄罗斯的经济制裁尤其是金融制裁简直是无所不用其极,俄罗斯近一半的外汇储备被西方国家冻结,国际通用支付方式SWIFT将其排除在外,导致俄罗斯经济瞬间被西方“隔离”,还有取消俄罗斯的贸易最惠国待遇、冻结俄富豪巨额财产等各种眼花缭乱的“拉清单”手段层出不穷。

In this regard, as the world’s largest net energy importer, China must take precautions and participate more actively in the international financial system. We must work faster to drive the internationalization of the RMB, act with initiative to promote the construction of the energy and derivatives market system, and continuously improve the rules and regulations of Shanghai crude oil futures to accelerate the establishment of a “petro-RMB” system denominated in RMB. We must actively build a natural gas trading system for RMB pricing and settlement and strive to explore the establishment of a new energy RMB pricing and settlement system so as to continuously amplify our voice in the international energy field.

对此,作为全球第一大能源净进口国的我国,要未雨绸缪,更加积极主动地参入到国际金融体系当中,加快推动人民币国际化的步伐,主动推进能源及其衍生品市场体系建设,不断完善上海原油期货规则制度,加快建立以人民币计价的“石油人民币”体系,积极构建人民币计价和结算的天然气交易体系,努力探索建立新能源人民币计价结算体系,不断提高在国际能源领域的话语权。

Revelation 3: Ensuring diversification of energy supply is imperative

启示之三:确保能源供应的多元化势在必行

During the present Russia-Ukraine conflict, the reason that Europe has been ridiculed as “being taken advantage of for their generosity” is that the energy shortage which they face and the continuous surge in prices result from their high level of dependence on Russian energy. 40% of their natural gas, 27% of their oil, and 46% of their coal come from Russia. It is not realistic for the continent to detach itself from Russia’s energy supply in the short term, and, ultimately, it must be European companies and ordinary people who foot the bill from sanctions.

这次俄乌冲突欧洲之所以被嘲笑为名符其实的“冤大头”,能源面临短缺,价格持续飚升,原因就在于欧洲向来对俄罗斯能源高度依赖,其40%天然气、27%石油和46%煤炭来自俄罗斯,想在短期内摆脱俄能源供应并不现实,最终为制裁“埋单”的必然是欧洲企业和普通民众。

Therefore, in a context in which China’s total energy consumption continues to increase and its import dependence grows, we need to make full use of the international market’s energy resources and to strengthen vigorous cooperation with different regional energy agencies to promote the diversification of energy supply sources. We must make a big push to build a three-dimensional onshore pipeline transportation route, continuously strengthen sea transportation capacity, and form a three-dimensional energy import source channel and transportation network. We must change as quickly as possible the energy consumption structure in which coal and other traditional energy form the main body and actively switch to a comprehensive and balanced energy structure which utilizes both fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) and clean energy (hydropower, nuclear power, renewable energy, etc.). We must avoid having all our eggs in one basket.

因此,在我国能源消费总量不断增长、进口依存度日渐提升的格局下,要充分利用国际市场的能源资源,加强与各区域能源机构的大力合作,以促进能源供给来源地的多样化;要下大力构建立体化陆上管道运输路径,不断壮大海上运输能力,形成能源进口来源渠道与输送网络的立体化;要尽快改变以煤炭等传统能源为主体的能源消费结构,主动转向化石能源(煤炭、石油、天然气)与清洁能源(水电、核电、可再生能源等)综合平衡发展的能源结构,避免在一棵树吊死。

Revelation 4: It is urgent that strategic energy reserve capacity be improved

启示之四:提高能源战略储备能力迫在眉睫

Oil and gas are known as the “blood” and “oxygen” which modern economic development cannot do without. Adequate strategic oil and gas reserves are vitally important to ensuring energy supply and price stability. In 2021, China’s crude oil and natural gas imports amounted to 513 million tons and 167.5 billion cubic meters, respectively, with external dependencies of 72% and 44.9%. Compared with developed countries, China’s oil and gas strategic reserves are seriously insufficient and lagging behind. Strategic oil reserves stand at about 70 days of consumption, which is quite a way off from the 90-day reserve safety standard set by the International Energy Agency. The gap is even more obvious compared with developed countries (e.g. the U.S. oil reserves are at about 160 days and Japan’s oil reserves stand at about 144 days).

油气被称为现代经济发展不可缺少的“血液”和“氧气”,充分战略油气储备对保证能源供给及价格稳定意义重大。2021年,我国原油和天然气进口量分别为5.13亿吨、1675亿立方米,对外依存度分别为72%、44,9%。同世界发达国家相比,我国油气战略储备严重不足与滞后,战略石油储备约为70天消费量,与国际能源署设定的90天储备安全标准线有较大的差距,与发达国家(如美国的石油储备量约160天、日本石油储备量约144天)相比差距更是明显。

From this we can see that China’s oil and gas energy strategic reserve demand and growth space are still considerable, and it is urgent that we improve our strategic reserve capacity. This is especially true in the current context of a turbulent and changing international situation and oil and gas prices which remain high. We need to put the construction of oil and gas reserve systems in a position of equal importance to that of our investment in oil and gas exploration and development, and give shape as quickly as possible to a three-in-one reserve model of government reserves, corporate social responsibility reserves, and production and operation inventory.

由此可见,我国油气能源战略储备需求和增长空间依然较大,提高战略储备能力刻不容缓,尤其是在当前国际局势动荡变幻和油气价格居高不下的情况下,要把油气储备体系建设摆到与油气勘探开发投资同等重要的位置,尽快形成政府储备、企业社会责任储备和生产经营库存三位一体的储备模式。

Revelation 5: Steps toward traditional energy transformation must be more stable

启示之五:传统能源转型需要迈得更加稳健

The Russia-Ukraine conflict shows that it is still difficult for the world to be without traditional energy sources, and the road to a clean and low-carbon transformation of energy will not be plain sailing. As we progress along this path, there will be “growing pains,” as it is often the case that expectations fail to align with reality. The basic pattern of China’s current energy is “a lot of coal, not so much oil, and a lack of gas.” The introduction of the “dual carbon” goal has brought unprecedented challenges and pressures for the traditional energy industry. Oil, coal, gas, and electricity, as big reducers, are the key industries and targets of “carbon reduction” and have a long way to go.

俄乌冲突表明世界仍难以离开传统能源,能源的清洁低碳转型不可能是一帆风顺的,仍然在路上,总会遭受到各种不同的“阵痛”,往往“理想很丰满,现实很骨感”。而我国目前能源的基本格局是“多煤少油缺气”,“双碳”目标的提出给传统能源行业带来史无前例的挑战和压力,石油、煤炭、天然气和电力作为减排大户,是“降碳”关注的重点行业和对象,任重而道远。

Particularly in the second half of last year, the power rationing crisis in many parts of China showed that although the new energy industry has been “infinitely good” in recent years, it still cannot make up for the supply gap in traditional energy. Traditional energy will still, for a long time to come, play the role of “ballast stone.” Although China’s energy transformation is the general trend and is imperative, we must fully consider the objective reality, first establish the new and then break down the old, proceed step by step, and avoid “campaign-style” carbon reduction. A “one-size-fits-all” approach goes against objective laws, and blindly seeking success will lead to nothing but endless misfortune.

尤其是去年下半年我国不少地方发生的限电危机表明,尽管这些年新能源行业“风光无限好”,但依旧无法弥补传统能源的供应缺口,传统能源仍将在相当长的一段时间内发挥着“压舱石”作用。我国能源转型虽是大势所趋、势在必行,但必须充分考虑客观现实情况,先立后破,循序渐进,切忌搞“运动式”减碳,“一刀切”式做法有悖客观规律,急躁冒进、急于求成终将会一事无成、遗祸无穷。

Revelation 6: Accelerating the development of new energy has become a top priority

启示之六:加快新型能源发展成为当务之急

The Russia-Ukraine conflict will lead Europe to add new energy sources in order to completely rid itself of its over-reliance on Russian energy. Germany even plans to achieve 100% renewable energy power generation by 2035. In the new energy field, China has the world’s largest market for production capacity, investment, construction, and operation and maintenance. Our production capacity of solar polysilicon accounts for more than 70% of the world’s production capacity, and our production capacity of wind turbines accounts for nearly half of the world’s total. In 2021, the installed capacity of both wind power and solar power in China will exceed the 300-million-kilowatt mark, ranking first in the world for many consecutive years. Newly installed wind and solar power generation capacity in that year exceeded 100 million kilowatts, which is more than three times that of the second-ranked United States.

俄乌冲突将导致欧洲疯狂加码新能源,以彻底摆脱对俄罗斯能源过分依赖,德国甚至计划到2035年实现100%的可再生能源发电。在新能源领域,我国拥有全球最大的产能、投资、建设和运维市场,太阳能多晶硅料产能占据全球70%以上,风机产能约占世界近一半,2021年我国风电与太阳能发电装机容量双双突破3亿千瓦大关,连续多年稳居世界首位,其中当年新增风光装机超过1亿千瓦,是排在第2位美国的3倍多。

However, we must also see clearly that China is a big country in the production and manufacture of new energy, but not a strong country, and our associated technology patent reserves are seriously insufficient. According to relevant information, among the international patent applications for new energy from 2009 to 2019, Europe accounted for 28%, the United States accounted for 20%, and China accounted for only 8%. Therefore, on the road to green development, China must take steady steps forward, and speed up progress towards a low-carbon and clean era, truly transforming production capacity and market advantages into ecological advantages and competitive advantages.

但也要清醒地看到,我国是新能源的生产和制造的大国而非强国,相关技术专利储备严重不足。据从有关资料了解,2009-2019年期间在新能源国际专利申请中,欧洲占比28%、美国占比20%、我国仅占8%。因此,通向绿色发展的道路上,我国需要一步一个脚印、加速向着低碳清洁时代迈进,真正将产能优势、市场优势转变为生态优势、竞争优势。

Revelation 7: Energy technology innovation has become more prominent

启示之七:能源技术创新摆到更加突出位置

The energy game brought about by the Russia-Ukraine conflict reflects the new situation in energy power transfer. With the advancement of the energy technology revolution, energy power will also undergo qualitative changes. Although China’s energy sector has formed a complete production chain, supply chain, and value chain which is fairly strong in terms of international competitiveness, compared with the world’s energy S&T powers and the need to lead the energy revolution, China’s energy technology innovation is still some way behind, and there are still many shortcomings. These include: insufficient investment in cutting-edge technologies, hydrogen energy, fuel cells, carbon emissions, and other technical patents, which are mainly in the hands of Europe, the United States, and Japan; some of the key core technologies have long been controlled by others, with large gas turbines, high-temperature materials, and core components monopolized by foreign countries; independent research results are limited, commonly used energy design software, optimization software, simulation software, and control system software are heavily dependent on foreign countries, and the level of modernization of the energy industry chain awaits further improvement.

俄乌冲突引发的能源博弈折射能源权力转移的新态势。随着能源技术革命推进,能源权力亦将发生质的变化。虽然我国能源领域已形成具有较强国际竞争力的完整产业链、供应链和价值链,但同世界能源科技强国和引领能源革命的要求相比,我国能源技术创新还有较大差距,仍存在不少短板:前沿技术上投入不足,氢能、燃料电池、碳排放等技术专利主要掌握在欧美、日本人手里;部分关键核心技术长期受制于人,大型燃气轮机、高温材料、核心元器件被国外垄断;原创性成果研究有限,常用的能源设计软件、优化软件、仿真软件及控制系统软件严重依赖国外,能源产业链现代化水平有待进一步提高。

Only by increasing S&T innovation and striving to seize the commanding heights of the energy revolution can we seize the first opportunities in the new round of energy power transfer and truly become the final winner. This is the trump card for ensuring that China is not put in a stranglehold by other countries.

唯有加大科技创新,努力抢占能源革命的制高点,才能在新一轮能源权力转移中抢得先机,真正成为最后的赢家,这是确保我国不被他国“卡脖子”的“杀手锏”。

Revelation 8: Strengthening neighboring energy cooperation has become an important support

启示之八:加强周边能源合作成为重要支撑

The root cause of the Russia-Ukraine conflict lies in the eastward expansion of NATO, and the chief director behind this is the United States. A very sad thing about Russia is that out of nine countries bordering Russia in Europe, eight have turned against it, making it easy for the United States to find “wedges” and breakthroughs to make waves.

俄乌冲突的根源在于北约东扩,背后的总导演是美国。俄罗斯有个非常悲催的地方是,在欧洲接壤的9个国家中,却有8个国家与其反目成仇,让美国很容易找到兴风作浪的“楔子”和突破口。

The lesson we have learned from this is that we must adhere long-term to good-neighborly and friendly policies, extensively strengthen cooperation in all aspects of the energy field, use transnational oil and gas pipelines to create the main arteries of friendly energy cooperation, use the electric power interconnection between countries as a bridge for friendly cooperation, and use the “Global Energy Internet” to create a platform for mutual cooperation between countries, building a long-term stable, interdependent, mutually beneficial, and closer positive cooperative relationship with neighboring countries and regions in the energy field, and forming a community with a shared future wherein there is a part of us within others and of others within us, leaving no opportunities for U.S.-led Western countries to sow discord, create estrangement, or break into wedges, and thwarting their despicable tricks.

我们从中得到的教训是必须长期坚持睦邻友好政策,广泛加强能源领域各方面合作,用跨国输油输气管道造就能源友好合作的大动脉,用国家间电力互联互通沟通友好合作的大桥梁,用全球能源互联网打造各国相互合作的大舞台,同周边国家和地区在能源领域构筑起长期稳定、相互依存、互惠互利、更加紧密的良好合作关系,形成你中有我、我中有你的命运共同体,不给以美国为首西方国家任何挑拨离间、制造隔阂、打进楔子的可乘之机,让他们的卑鄙伎俩不能够轻易得逞。

Revelation 9: The energy game with Europe and the United States will continue to intensify

启示之九:同欧美的能源博弈将会持续升温

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is extremely likely to lead to the splitting of the global energy system, forming two relatively parallel energy systems based principally on China and India “using Russian energy” and principally on the United States and Europe “moving away from Russia.” In particular, in the current situation wherein the United States is leading a group of “little followers” to do their level best to suppress and crowd out China, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has conveniently allowed them to seize the “good opportunity” to do evil and find a “pretext” to launch their attack. As such, the China-U.S. energy game is very much likely to intensify.

俄乌冲突极有可能导致全球能源体系分裂,分别形成以中印为主的“用俄罗斯能源”和美欧为主的“去俄罗斯能源”的两个相对平行的能源体系。特别是在当前美国正率领一帮“小跟班”想方设法对我国进行疯狂打压和排挤的形势下,俄乌冲突正好让他们逮住了作恶的“良机”、找到了发难的“借口”,中美能源博弈极有可能会愈演激烈。

China must weigh up the advantages and disadvantages, excel at using struggle strategies, and never blindly confront challenges. We must make full use of Russia’s eagerness to strengthen cooperation with China to make up for its losses in Europe and stabilize the overall plan and direction of Sino-Russian energy cooperation, ensuring the steady and long-term development of Sino-Russian energy cooperation. At the same time, we must also excel at using the divergent interests and demands of European countries and the United States in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, find common points and joint avenues of cooperation, carry out reasonable and disciplined struggles, and maintain strategic patience and perseverance. We must increase understanding in stalemates, resolve suspicions in cooperation, and ensure that we struggle but don’t break, that we compete and cooperate.

我国必须权衡好各种利弊,善于运用斗争策略,决不盲目硬碰,既要充分利用俄罗斯急于加强与中国的合作来弥补在欧洲损失的愿望,稳住中俄能源合作的大盘子和大方向,确保中俄能源合作行稳致远;又要擅于利用欧美各国在俄乌冲突中各自不同的利益诉求,找到大家合作的共同点和结合点,开展有理有节的争斗,保持战略耐心与毅力,在相持中增加理解,在合作中化解猜忌,确保斗而不破、竞合而行。

Revelation 10: Building an energy strategic alliance needs to be put on the agenda

启示之十:构建能源战略联盟需提上议事日程

From the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it is clear that the United States is handier and more proficient in forming factions and building “small circles” of interests. In the face of the unreasonable suppression by the United States and the increasingly evident “decoupling” between China and the U.S., China cannot always respond passively but needs to make well-timed and proactive strikes, embrace the world with a broader mind, and make full use of China’s position as the world’s largest energy importer and the largest energy consumer. Adhering to the concept of a community with a shared future for humankind, under the premise of the principles of “mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, and honesty,” we should build global energy strategic cooperation alliances at different levels and within different fields. We should deepen cooperation with traditional energy markets in regions such as Central Asia and Russia, Africa, and the Middle East, and actively open up new energy markets such as North America and South America and build broader global energy partnerships. We should actively participate in global energy dialogues and actively advocate new concepts of global energy security. We should replace confrontation with cooperation, replace monopoly with mutual benefit, and continuously expand the “circle of friends” for energy exchanges and cooperation.

通过俄乌冲突能够明显看出,美国在拉邦结派、搭建利益“小圈子”方面更加得心应手、炉火纯青。在面对美国的无理打压和中美“脱钩”愈发明显的形势下,我国不能总是被动应战,而是需要适时主动出击,以更加广阔的胸怀拥抱全球,充分利用我国是全球第一大能源进口国和最大能源消费国的有利地位,秉持人类命运共同体的理念,在“相互尊重、平等互利、合作共赢、坦诚相待”原则的前提下,打造不同层次和不同领域的全球能源战略合作联盟,深化同中亚和俄罗斯、非洲以及中东地区等传统能源市场合作关系,积极开拓北美、南美等新型能源市场,搭建更加广泛的全球能源合作伙伴关系,主动参与到全球能源对话中并积极倡导全球能源安全的新理念,以合作代替对抗,以互惠代替独占,不断扩大能源交流合作的“朋友圈”。

To top

Cite This Page

徐进 (Xu Jin) (2022). "Ten Revelations from the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Concerning China’s Energy Security [俄乌冲突给我国能源安全的十大启示]". Interpret: China, Original work published May 10, 2022, https://interpret.csis.org/translations/ten-revelations-from-the-russia-ukraine-conflict-concerning-chinas-energy-security/

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintCopy Link