A special review on China and the status of renewable energy in its provinces has been launched recently by the Sustainable Energy Regulation Network (SERN) at REEEP’s Wilton Park Conference 2010.
SERN operates as a sub-network of REEEP for those involved in energy regulation. Each year, it publishes an annual review of energy policies and regulation around the world. This year, a special review has been published on China, the second largest energy producer and consumer in the world, where installed capacity has increased by 11% annually and power generation by 11.5% annually since 1998.
China has taken a number of measures during this time to increase energy efficiency and the contribution of renewable energy sources to the growing demand. In October 2007, the National People’s Congress made significant modifications to the Energy Conservation Law (1997), making this law one of few in the world requiring practical implementation to promote comprehensive energy conservation and providing the legal basis for long-term resource conservation in China.
For instance, new rules for electricity system dispatch have been set. The new dispatch order, called environmental dispatch or efficiency dispatch, gives preferential treatment to cleaner plants. It requires non-emitting resources to operate first, then low-emissions resources, and, lastly, the higher emitting units.
As part of its efforts to reduce energy intensity and restructure the power sector, the government established a policy of closing small, inefficient coal plants.
China has also a differential pricing policy for energy intensive industries. The policy, which was initiated in 2004, links prices that large industrial consumers pay for electricity to the efficiency of their production. There are limits on the development of energy-intensive industries to prevent both the deployment of inefficient technologies and the construction of energy-inefficient factories.
In January 2010 a new National Energy Committee (NEC) was established to step up energy strategic decision-making, overall planning and coordination.
To learn more download the review, which is available for free from the SERN section of this website