China's energy sector is in the spotlight as 2015 progresses, and developments may affect markets far beyond the country's borders.

These developments offer new opportunities for energy companies and suppliers, but the China market remains complex and dynamic. Herbert Smith Freehills' China Energy Team has produced a concise market and regulation review, a primer on the main legislation, regulators and investment restrictions in each of the power, oil and gas, and renewables sectors to assist those assessing opportunities in the market.

The review covers reforms that have opened China's domestic energy market to renewed competition from private companies – both foreign and domestic. This increased competition may force state-owned energy companies to intensify their search for profits offshore, while foreign companies are now able to invest in many areas of energy production and transportation.

It also explains a number of policy developments such as the State Council's commitment to efficient, clean and sustainable energy, which will reduce the country's dependence on coal in favour of gas for energy production over the coming five years. Renewable resources are also being encouraged with new wind investments announced. This year has also seen the relaunch of nuclear power projects in China, with construction slated to be underway by 2020.

The China review, authored by Beijing partner Monica Sun, senior associate Hao Su and associate James Zhang, appears in the fourth edition of The Energy Regulation and Markets Review, published by Law Business Research. The review comprises country chapters contributed by law firms around the world, from Angola to Uzbekistan.

Originally published in The Energy Regulation and Markets Review, Law Business Research, 2015. ISBN 978-1-909830-51-6