ASSESSMENTS

The Obstacles China Will Face in Fixing Its Energy Grid

MIN READAug 29, 2022 | 21:12 GMT

Solar panels and wind turbines work in an integrated power station in Yancheng, China, on Oct. 14, 2020.

Solar panels and wind turbines work in an integrated power station in Yancheng, China, on Oct. 14, 2020.

(HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

China's implementation of renewable grid reforms may address longstanding connectivity issues, but the emphasis on transmission infrastructure may raise new concerns about the grid's ability to respond to challenges. China is reinvigorating plans for long-range ultra-high voltage (UHV) power lines to connect underutilized renewable energy supplies to centers of consumption. Beijing is also expanding its plans for and implementation of smart grids to manage the complex flow of electric power across the country as Beijing seeks to advance its carbon reduction commitments, as well as mitigate concerns regarding pollution levels and regional imbalances in power production and consumption. These efforts have the potential to ease the greater challenges currently plaguing China's domestic development -- namely, interregional competition, centralization of governance, mismatched regional implementation of national policies, and a poorly optimized electricity grid. If the reforms are enacted, China can finally integrate its renewables into a larger grid to reduce the...

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