It wasn't an electric year for State Grid, China’s state-owned power company, as sales dipped just under 1% in 2019. Beijing appointed Mao Weiming as State Grid's chairman at the start of 2020, marking the first time the massive utility has been led by a chairman with no prior experience in the industry. Mao’s predecessor reportedly had objected to a government plan last year that guaranteed the power company would purchase clean energy from operators of renewable power plants. The program is tied to China's effort to green its electricity supply, but it could put a squeeze on State Grid’s profit margins. Mao is thought to be more amenable to the plan. Meanwhile, as China battles its way out of the economic slump caused by the pandemic, coal-fired power generation remains king for State Grid—at least for now.
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