Over the last decade, China has experienced a significant increase in electricity demand, which is expected to continue in the coming years. Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that the power generation meets such electricity demand while also doing it in an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective way as partly highlighted by the Beautiful China targets. At the same time, securing an independent and stable food source has prompted the government to reserve land for agriculture. In order to achieve optimal use of the land, it is necessary to consider land use policies that facilitate achievement of targets both for food and energy production.
In such a setting, distributed energy resources (i.e., distributed onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV)) have gained strategic importance in the Chinese context. Specifically, they consist of low carbon solutions which are able to exploit local wind and solar resources in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, as these technologies are characterised by a low footprint in terms of area occupied, they allow the optimal combination of land usage and installation of distributed wind and solar power.
This report describes the current regulations in Denmark and Germany for land use and planning and siting of RE facilities, especially distributed onshore wind and free-field PV systems. The report presents an overview of the status of both onshore wind power and PV. Afterwards, the planning and siting processes as well as the approval processes for onshore wind farms and free-field PV systems are explained, including public participation. Finally, lessons learned for China based on the Danish and German experiences with planning and siting onshore wind power plants and free-field PV systems are suggested.
Based on the existing Chinese regulatory framework, and taking into account some of the experiences from Denmark and Germany, it is possible to identify some recommendations and suggestions to facilitate the development of distributed onshore wind in China. While these recommendations are varied, they are based on three main concepts: de-risking through transparency and a long-term perspective, effective use of the Chinese wind resources, and increased public acceptance and participation.