Four things you need to know about China's renewable portfolio standard

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Report summary

For years, China's renewable energy output has been constrained and grid companies have not been forced to purchase maximum renewable generation volumes. China recently released a draft policy for its renewable portfolio standard. Though still in its draft form, the RPS policy is a solid step in the right direction after prolonged debate. If well enforced, we expect to see higher capacity utilisation of renewable power, as well as more market transactions that support faster penetration of renewable energy. But the draft policy could be improved by further clarifying the role of grid companies, setting challenging but achievable RPS targets, incentivising coastal markets to import renewable electricity, and adding detailed yet enforceable penalties to drive compliance. They are key to ensuring the policy has real teeth to bite.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Four things you need to know about China's renewable portfolio standard

    PDF 462.66 KB

Table of contents

  • What is the renewable portfolio standard?
  • Renewable generation: watch out for unchallenging targets and inter-provincial market barriers
  • Coal-fired utilities can relax for now but longer-term competition to intensify
  • Industrial users that own captive power plants could struggle with higher cost
  • Multiple roles of power grid companies highlight potential conflict of interests
  • Conclusion

Tables and charts

This report includes 4 images and tables including:


  • Renewable portfolio standard for 2018 and 2020
  • Chart 1. Non-hydro RPS under the current and the 2016 policy
  • Chart 2. Effect of RPS calculation method on power exporters and importers


  • Impact of the RPS on market players

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