At a glance: The 14th Five-Year Plan to develop the renewable energy sector outlines measures to expand large-scale production, storage and consumption of renewable energy and to support innovation in the field. Nine government agencies headed by the National Development and Reform Commission presented the plan, whose key targets for 2025 include:
- Ensuring renewables make up no less than half of electricity consumption and primary energy consumption added between 2021-2025
- Doubling electricity generation from solar and wind and increasing the national renewable electricity consumption quota from 28.8 percent in 2020 to 33 percent
- Expanding the use of renewables for purposes other than electricity generation, such as via geothermal energy heating, biomass heating/fuel and solar thermal energy
- Strengthening research into frontier and core technologies like high-power wind turbines, high-efficiency low-cost photovoltaic cells and electrolyzer technology
MERICS comment: The goal to derive at least half of additional primary energy consumption for renewables is unambitious. This mainly reflects China’s current concerns about energy security, its primary reliance on fossil fuels in its existing energy mix, and growing energy demand. Even so, the expansion of renewables in the coming years will be significant. Total capacity is forecast to grow by at least 50 percent between 2020 and 2025.
The large-scale rollout of renewables at home will enable Chinese firms to invest more in innovation and strengthen their ability to compete in third markets. China has already developed seven of the top ten wind power equipment manufacturing firms and dominates the photovoltaic supply chain. Now, further government measures to boost talent training, testing facilities, IP protection and so on, will support local champions to master related core technologies.
European manufacturers of renewable technologies need to be ready for increased competition from China in many areas. But as Chinese companies seek to integrate themselves into global innovation networks, there will also be opportunities to collaborate. European firms will be sought out partners in areas where they retain technology leadership, such as in green hydrogen production and storage.
Article: 14th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy (关于印发“十四五”可再生能源发展规划的通知) (Link)
Issuing bodies: NDRC, NEA, MOF, MNR, MEE, MOHURD, MOA, CMA, NFGA
Date: June 1, 2022