The Chinese energy system is changing rapidly. Even though China is by far the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, renewable energy has been booming on an unanticipated scale. Since the 2010s, China has started to play an increasingly important leadership role in installing solar and wind power capacity, reaching 635 gigawatt in total by the end of 2021. The European Union’s total installed solar and wind power capacity was approximately 400 gigawatt in 2021.
While the prospects of renewables in China are promising, the country faces immense challenges in transforming its power system. Though the curtailment of renewable energy has significantly improved, China still needs major investment in distribution and transmission grids as well as in flexibility resources to facilitate a high percentage of renewable energy penetration.
Together with its Beijing-based subsidiary Agora Energy Transition China, Agora Energiewende works on energy and climate policies centred around China’s goals of peaking carbon emissions before 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality before 2060.
Agora’s work focuses on the following areas within China’s clean energy transition and climate agenda: The clean power sector transformation based on distributed renewables, regional energy transitions with a focus on just coal transition, energy transitions in Europe (especially in Germany) and their implications for China, corporate energy transition strategies with an emphasis on coal-reliant state-owned energy enterprises and – together with Agora Industry – the decarbonisation of industry.