Anders Hove

Research Associate

Anders Hove is Project Director for the Energy Transition project at GIZ, a German federal enterprise providing services in the field of international development cooperation, while also serving as a non-resident fellow at Columbia CGE. He has worked in Beijing since 2010 and has more than 20 years of public and private sector experience related to energy policy and markets, including 9 years on Wall Street and 10 years in China

Contact

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The global low-carbon energy transition will require major changes to institutional practices and energy industry paradigms with implications for society writ large. A country’s existing institutional pattern inevitably shapes the transition, and helps or hinders its progress. This is perhaps especially so in state-dominated systems such as China, which have historically considered energy as a strategic field for reasons of both security and economic development.

China has already taken steps to embrace clean energy, even as it remains the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels: Indeed, it is the world’s leading producer and consumer of renewable energy in absolute terms today, and the country’s leaders speak of encouraging a revolution in energy consumption and production, in line with new targets announced in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But how successful will China be in introducing the sweeping changes required? At the technological level, such changes could include replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, but they also require institutional shifts, which could entail major market reforms and changes to the structure of the Chinese energy sector, dominated now by SOEs and administrative planning.

This Insight examines how China’s institutional setting both contributes to and hinders the energy transition, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. It also aims to dispel the binary view of China’s governance and the energy transition, in which central government commitment is portrayed as the sole determinant of success. Finally, it sets out a preliminary framework for analysing the areas where technological and institutional factors make change more likely to be lasting and transformative, versus areas in which resistance will likely remain strong.

Historically, China has been better at building out energy supplies and adding the ‘hardware’ of energy infrastructure, while having greater difficulty adjusting the ‘software’ of institutional and societal change or practices related to energy demand and energy efficiency. We would argue that China is likely to continue to expand the hardware, given its strong institutions devoted to investing in supply. But China will struggle with the software as this relies on a demand pull, market incentives, and greater coordination among stakeholders and between sectors.

When considering innovation for the energy transition, the paper makes a similar argument: China’s technology innovation system has enabled innovation in first generation technologies. But will China’s strong incumbent industries impede the transformational change required for the more modular technologies that are less capital intensive and require greater societal involvement and coordination? China has come to dominate global supplies in manufacturing-intensive technologies – solar photovoltaics and batteries – which have also seen the most rapid cost declines due to scale. For design-intensive technology – such as wind, concentrating solar power plants, or advanced coal plants – cost declines have not been as pronounced. For those technologies that are less modular and more design-intensive, state-owned enterprises may play a larger role and the potential for transformative technological change could be slower to emerge.

  Read the full paper here - Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_title] => Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => software-versus-hardware-how-chinas-institutional-setting-helps-and-hinders-the-clean-energy-transition-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-12-13 09:57:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-12-13 09:57:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=44395 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44393 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2021-12-10 11:06:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-12-10 11:06:41 [post_content] =>

The global low-carbon energy transition will require major changes to institutional practices and energy industry paradigms with implications for society writ large. A country’s existing institutional pattern inevitably shapes the transition, and helps or hinders its progress. This is perhaps especially so in state-dominated systems such as China, which have historically considered energy as a strategic field for reasons of both security and economic development.

China has already taken steps to embrace clean energy, even as it remains the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels: Indeed, it is the world’s leading producer and consumer of renewable energy in absolute terms today, and the country’s leaders speak of encouraging a revolution in energy consumption and production, in line with new targets announced in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But how successful will China be in introducing the sweeping changes required? At the technological level, such changes could include replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, but they also require institutional shifts, which could entail major market reforms and changes to the structure of the Chinese energy sector, dominated now by SOEs and administrative planning.

This paper examines how China’s institutional setting both contributes to and hinders the energy transition, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. It also aims to dispel the binary view of China’s governance and the energy transition, in which central government commitment is portrayed as the sole determinant of success. Finally, it sets out a preliminary framework for analysing the areas where technological and institutional factors make change more likely to be lasting and transformative, versus areas in which resistance will likely remain strong.

Historically, China has been better at building out energy supplies and adding the ‘hardware’ of energy infrastructure, while having greater difficulty adjusting the ‘software’ of institutional and societal change or practices related to energy demand and energy efficiency. We would argue that China is likely to continue to expand the hardware, given its strong institutions devoted to investing in supply. But China will struggle with the software as this relies on a demand pull, market incentives, and greater coordination among stakeholders and between sectors.

When considering innovation for the energy transition, the paper makes a similar argument: China’s technology innovation system has enabled innovation in first generation technologies. But will China’s strong incumbent industries impede the transformational change required for the more modular technologies that are less capital intensive and require greater societal involvement and coordination? China has come to dominate global supplies in manufacturing-intensive technologies – solar photovoltaics and batteries – which have also seen the most rapid cost declines due to scale. For design-intensive technology – such as wind, concentrating solar power plants, or advanced coal plants – cost declines have not been as pronounced. For those technologies that are less modular and more design-intensive, state-owned enterprises may play a larger role and the potential for transformative technological change could be slower to emerge.

Read the short-version of the full paper here - OIES Energy Insight - Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_title] => Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => software-versus-hardware-how-chinas-institutional-setting-helps-and-hinders-the-clean-energy-transition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-12-13 09:57:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-12-13 09:57:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=44393 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 38790 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2020-06-22 11:11:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-22 10:11:15 [post_content] => For many years running, China has led the world in construction of new wind and solar facilities, yet China also continues to build new coal plants. Notwithstanding market reforms that have addressed some of the problems China previously experienced in integrating renewable energy, the trend for clean energy in China defies easy analysis. Indeed, several contradictions continue to exist: national guidance versus local implementation, support for coal co-existing with promotion of renewables, and slow roll-out of spot electricity markets. Based on the policies and government guidance released so far in 2020, China is likely to focus on keeping markets for wind and solar stable, while attempting to tackle structural issues on a step-by-step basis. While this could disappoint analysts who note the risk to public health and finances of further investments in fossil energy, the ultimate result could nevertheless favour a clean energy transition driven by a combination of both markets and policy. [post_title] => Current direction for renewable energy in China [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => current-direction-for-renewable-energy-in-china [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-22 11:11:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-22 10:11:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=38790 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 3 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44395 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2021-12-10 11:10:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-12-10 11:10:34 [post_content] =>

The global low-carbon energy transition will require major changes to institutional practices and energy industry paradigms with implications for society writ large. A country’s existing institutional pattern inevitably shapes the transition, and helps or hinders its progress. This is perhaps especially so in state-dominated systems such as China, which have historically considered energy as a strategic field for reasons of both security and economic development.

China has already taken steps to embrace clean energy, even as it remains the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels: Indeed, it is the world’s leading producer and consumer of renewable energy in absolute terms today, and the country’s leaders speak of encouraging a revolution in energy consumption and production, in line with new targets announced in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But how successful will China be in introducing the sweeping changes required? At the technological level, such changes could include replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, but they also require institutional shifts, which could entail major market reforms and changes to the structure of the Chinese energy sector, dominated now by SOEs and administrative planning.

This Insight examines how China’s institutional setting both contributes to and hinders the energy transition, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. It also aims to dispel the binary view of China’s governance and the energy transition, in which central government commitment is portrayed as the sole determinant of success. Finally, it sets out a preliminary framework for analysing the areas where technological and institutional factors make change more likely to be lasting and transformative, versus areas in which resistance will likely remain strong.

Historically, China has been better at building out energy supplies and adding the ‘hardware’ of energy infrastructure, while having greater difficulty adjusting the ‘software’ of institutional and societal change or practices related to energy demand and energy efficiency. We would argue that China is likely to continue to expand the hardware, given its strong institutions devoted to investing in supply. But China will struggle with the software as this relies on a demand pull, market incentives, and greater coordination among stakeholders and between sectors.

When considering innovation for the energy transition, the paper makes a similar argument: China’s technology innovation system has enabled innovation in first generation technologies. But will China’s strong incumbent industries impede the transformational change required for the more modular technologies that are less capital intensive and require greater societal involvement and coordination? China has come to dominate global supplies in manufacturing-intensive technologies – solar photovoltaics and batteries – which have also seen the most rapid cost declines due to scale. For design-intensive technology – such as wind, concentrating solar power plants, or advanced coal plants – cost declines have not been as pronounced. For those technologies that are less modular and more design-intensive, state-owned enterprises may play a larger role and the potential for transformative technological change could be slower to emerge.

  Read the full paper here - Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_title] => Software versus hardware: how China’s institutional setting helps and hinders the clean energy transition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => software-versus-hardware-how-chinas-institutional-setting-helps-and-hinders-the-clean-energy-transition-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-12-13 09:57:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-12-13 09:57:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=44395 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 3 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 3ed8ca73f116b3412bd5636558466dd8 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

Latest Publications by Anders Hove