China's 'new era' energy plan to expand energy storage and renewables

by John Shepherd
Yu Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the China Energy Storage Alliance. Photo: CNESA
China is set to launch a series of "large-scale power storage pilot projects” and expand investment in renewable energy, according to government proposals mapping out the country’s energy development through to 2035.

The ‘Energy in China's New Era’ white paper, released by the State Council Information Office, said China would push for greater international cooperation in support of "a new round of energy reform directed towards clean and low-carbon development”.

Zhang Jianhua, a National Development and Reform Commission member and administrator of the National Energy Administration said China had improved its energy storage, transportation and peak shaving system, and strengthened its capacity to ensure energy security.

'New energy laws'

"By 2030, China will increase its share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25% and bring the total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2bn kilowatts,” Zhang said.

China will "work to formulate energy laws, revise electricity and renewable energy laws, and other laws and regulations, as well as improve the related institutions and systems for implementing new energy security strategies in promoting the transition to clean and low-carbon energy”, Zhang said.

On power storage, Yu Zhenhua, the vice-chairman of the China Energy Storage Alliance (CNESA), said in a related briefing that the rapid development of China’s new energy auto industry "has also led to the advancement of energy storage battery technology”.

Yu said increasing electricity market reform in China had "opened up” a greater role for energy storage.

Energy trading

"Various services and demand response mechanisms in the auxiliary service market have become an important platform for energy storage to obtain additional benefits.”

However, Yu said "market mechanisms need to be fine-tuned” for energy storage to play a greater role in energy trading systems.

According to the CNESA, as of the end of September 2020, China’s overall operational energy storage systems' capacity comprised 33.1GW, an increase of 5.1% compared to the third quarter of 2019.