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Mainland China

With a power score of 2.44, Mainland China ranks number 3 among emerging markets and number 14 in the global ranking.

  • Emerging markets
  • Asia-Pacific

2.44 / 5

Power score


Transport score

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Buildings score

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Low-carbon strategy

Net-zero goal and strategy

China has set goals to peak its carbon emissions before 2030 and reach net-zero before 2060. The government updated its Nationally Determined Contribution, or its plan to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, in December 2020 with new targets, including a 65% decline in GDP carbon intensity by 2030, compared with 2005.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

The long-term strategy submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2021 stated further that China’s electricity sector would reach carbon peaking even earlier, so that 2030’s CO2 level would be some 15% lower than the peak. President Xi Jinping announced in April 2021 that the country will start phasing down coal consumption from 2026-30, despite a later saying that “energy security” (mainly relying on coal) remains a high priority.

Fossil fuel phase-out policy

He has also promised not to support any new-build of coal power in overseas countries starting from late 2021.


Power policy

China’s power market is undergoing a series of changes that will impact both generation and retail. For renewable energy, generous subsidies that spurred rapid growth are coming to an end, except for biomass and some rooftop PV. It is still unclear whether policy makers will extend feed-in tariffs or deploy auctions for future projects. So far, decisions are made on an annual and province-by-province basis.

Power policies

Renewable energy auction
Feed-in Tariff
Import tax incentives
Net Metering
Renewable energy target
VAT incentives

Power prices and costs

Retail liberalization now allows wind and solar assets in at least 28 of China’s 31 provinces to sell power directly to end users. Spot trading of electric power has also taken place in at least 8 pilot provinces. The sale of coal-fired power, which still dominates the power system, has been liberalized in most of the country.


Power market

For renewable energy, China launched its renewables portfolio standards (RPS) in 2020, mandating power consumers and retailers to source a set share of clean energy. China has imposed caps on the lifetime ‘hours of generation’ for which subsidy will be paid for all existing and new renewables projects. BloombergNEF categorizes it as a retrospective cut on subsidies, as it alters the earlier practice that subsidized the full actual generation.

Installed Capacity (in MW)

201220142016201820200500K1M1.5M2M MW

Electricity Generation (in GWh)

2012201420162018202002M4M6M8M GWh

Utility privatisation

Which segments of the power sector are open to private participation?


Wholesale power market

Does the country have a wholesale power market?

Not available

Doing business and barriers

There are no formal barriers to private sector participation in developing clean energy assets. However, private players face general disadvantages when it comes to obtaining local permits to construct, permits for grid connection, or obtaining cheap debt financing, while state-owned companies are often treated preferentially.

Currency of PPAs

Are PPAs (eg. corporate PPAs and all other types) signed in or indexed to U.S. Dollars or Euro?

Not available

Bilateral power contracts

Can a C&I (Commercial and Industrial) customer sign a long-term contract (PPA) for clean energy?

Not available

Fossil fuel price distortions - Subsidies

Does the government influence the wholesale price of fossil fuel (used by thermal power plants) down through subsidies?

Not available

Fossil fuel price distortions - Taxes

Does the government influence the wholesale price of fossil fuel (used by thermal power plants) up through taxes or carbon prices?

Not available

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Additional insights
from BNEF

Explore more detailed information on global commodity markets and the disruptive technologies driving the transition to a low-carbon economy.

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Climatescope 2022 print report cover

Climatescope 2022

Power Transition Factbook

This marks the 11th anniversary of Climatescope, BNEF’s annual assessment of energy transition opportunities. The project has been expanded to include activity not just in clean power but in the decarbonization of the transportation and buildings sectors. The Power Transition Factbook is the first of three reports that composes BNEF's Energy Transition Factbook. The transport and buildings sectors reports are coming soon.

Read the reportSee all reports

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