China is in the beginning of an energy transition with the aim to build an energy system for the future. The 19th Party Congress in October 2017 confirmed and reinforced the direction and ambitions to complete the development of a moderately prosperous society by 2020; to achieve basic modernisation by 2035 and build a great and modern country which is prosperous, strong, democratic advanced, harmonious and beautiful by 2050. Strong emphasis is placed on the transition of the development of the economy from High Speed to High Quality, a paradigm shift which shall also be adhered to in the energy sector. With the important milestones for 2020, 2035 and 2050, it is the policy of China to develop a “clean, low carbon, safe and efficient energy system”.
This year’s China Renewable Energy Outlook (CREO 2018) uses these ambitions as a starting point for defining a clear vision for the energy system in 2050. A vision which can not only support a continuation of economic development but also complies with the ambitious energy and environmental objectives for a sustainable ecological civilisation. A roadmap for implementing this vision is analysed and compared with the development pathway from the current policies influencing the energy system development. Finally, the report analyses the short-term policy measures to promote renewable energy as part the energy transition.
It is my firm belief that working with visions for the future is a necessary step in the energy transition process. Without strong visions for the energy system, the transition process will be too incremental and inevitable fail to achieve the long-term goal. On the other hand, the vision must be rooted in comprehensive quantitative analyses of the whole energy system to demonstrate how the visions can be realised and to link the energy system development with the enabling policy measures.
The energy transition is a complex process with many stakeholders and with many, often conflicting interests. It is my hope that CREO 2018 can contribute to a build a strong analytical platform and a foundation for the policy making and eventually for the successful energy transition in line with the overall goals from the 19th party congress.
Like the previous years, the CREO 2018 has been developed by ERI and CNREC in a strong cooperation with national and international partners. The research has been made possible by funding from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and from the Danish and German governments. This strong and on-going support is invaluable for the quality and depth of the research and I am grateful that we can continue this unique cooperation between energy experts and donors.
CREO 2018 Executive Summary download:
CREO 2018 download: