IEA Paper Reviews China’s Renewables Policies, Status and Challenges

April 2011: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a paper titled “Integration of Renewables: Status and Challenges in China,” which focuses on areas of generation, power transmission, demand-side management and policy.

This paper begins by introducing the energy situation in China, highlighting energy security issues, and continues on to discuss regional electricity transmission, flexible generation and storage, demand-side management and storage, and policies and standards. Its analysis focuses on China's aim to have 15% of energy production come from renewables by 2020, and specifically, to have 150 gigawatts of installed wind capacity by that time.

Although the paper notes that China's top-down decision-making structure for renewables offers long-term targets and boosts certainty for industry, it concludes that the “rigidity of the structure and design of China's electricity market runs counter to the kind of flexibility that a power system needs exactly to incorporate higher shares of variable renewables.” It also notes that the Government's pricing controls could undermine efforts to enlarge transmission and flexible generation capacities. The paper recommends refocusing away from five-year plans and the target date of 2020, and to plan further into the long-term future. [Executive Summary] [Publication: Integration of Renewables: Status and Challenges in China]