Beijing urged to stop energy fluctuations stifling renewable sources.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 28, 2024
Beijing urged to quell ‘fluctuations and volatility’ stifling renewable energy.jpegOrginal image from:

China’s renewable energy sector is experiencing fluctuations and volatility that could potentially impact Beijing’s power reforms. The surge in nationwide solar-generation-capacity installation by 52.2% in the first five months of 2024 showcases the country’s rapid growth in renewable energy. However, despite this progress, China is facing challenges related to power-generation-capacity utilization and infrastructure development.

The Current State of China’s Renewable Energy Sector

While China has made significant advancements in renewable energy installations, there has been a noticeable drop in equipment utilization and bottlenecks that are hindering further progress. Data from the National Energy Administration (NEA) reveals that while solar and wind power capacities have increased, the overall power-generation-capacity utilization has decreased compared to the previous year. This trend highlights the need for better coordination in consumption, storage, and transmission of renewable energy sources.

The Impact of Fluctuations and Volatility

Renewable energy sources like wind and photovoltaic generation are prone to significant fluctuations and volatility, making it challenging to maintain a stable power supply. Researchers have pointed out the issue of ‘power abandonment,’ where excess electricity cannot be efficiently distributed to regions with high demand. This imbalance underscores the importance of implementing reforms to address the challenges faced by the renewable energy sector.

The Path Towards Power Reform

Recognizing the need for reform, President Xi Jinping mentioned power reform during a recent symposium, indicating a potential shift in policy to address the issues in the energy sector. The upcoming third plenum is expected to focus on economic bottlenecks and chart a growth path for the country. Power capacity and infrastructure play a crucial role in China’s transition to green energy and its ambitions in the digital economy and hi-tech sectors.

Strategies to Enhance Renewable Energy Utilization

Lowering Utilization Requirements

Recent developments include lowering the utilization requirements for regions with abundant wind and solar resources to 90%, allowing for more flexibility in energy distribution. Additionally, efforts to remove barriers for interprovincial trading and transmission aim to optimize the utilization of renewable energy sources and reduce wastage.

Market Reforms and Access Granting

Proposed reforms such as granting access for wind and solar power companies to connect to the state grid at market prices can incentivize better utilization of renewable energy. By aligning pricing mechanisms with market demands, the energy sector can achieve higher levels of efficiency and sustainability in power generation.

Addressing Regional Utilization Disparities

Region-specific data highlights disparities in renewable-energy utilization across different provinces, with some areas falling below the 95% utilization threshold. By addressing consumption and transmission bottlenecks in these regions, China can ensure a more balanced and efficient distribution of renewable energy to meet the country’s sustainability goals.


China’s renewable energy sector is at a critical juncture, with the need for reforms to enhance power-generation capacity utilization and infrastructure development. By addressing the challenges of fluctuations and volatility in renewable energy sources, Beijing can supercharge its power reforms and accelerate the transition towards a greener and more sustainable energy landscape.

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