Fragmented authoritarianism in China’s energy sector China’s vast energy sector – the main field of research of Lieberthal and Oksenberg’s 1988 volume – continues to draw attention from scholars trying to dissect the institutions, policies and development pathways of the various organs populating the sector (e.g. Andrews-Speed 2010, 2012; Arruda 2003; Downs 2008a, 2008b; Lim 2012; Xu 2010). With few exceptions, a select group of powerful institutions stands at the centre of most studies, and of national policy-making and strategic coordination as well. First and foremost, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) exercises far-reaching control over long-term planning, pricing, large investments and tendering, and other central issues for policy-making in energy. Under the umbrella of the NDRC, the National Energy Administration (NEA) is the main organ in charge of energy issues, dealing with the more concrete policy-making, regulation, planning and research. Another important organ is the National Leading Small Group for Addressing Climate Change and Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Work (Guojia yingdui qihou bianhua ji jieneng jian pai gongzuo lingdao xiaozu, hereafter NLSG), which through its high-ranking members and bureaucratic affiliation with both the State Council and the NDRC is an influential discussion platform for strategic decisions across bureaucracies. Additionally, the central stateowned enterprises (SOEs) in the energy sector (two grid operators, three oil companies and five generation companies) are an important group. SOEs have to comply with policies and regulations in the energy industries, such as new industry standards and energy development plans. At the same time, these corporations are urged to become efficient for-profit companies, and this tension between industrial policy on the one hand and profitability on the other creates its own stresses, even at the downstream ends of energy policy.