Current direction for renewable energy in China
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.