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CHINA 2050 HIGH RENEWABLE

ENERGY PENETRATION SCENARIO


AND ROADMAP STUDY

Energy Research Institute


National Development and Reform Commission
ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION

April 2015

Table of Contents

HIGH RENEWABLE
ENERGY PENETRATION
SCENARIO: VISION AND
CONSENSUS

02

HIGH RENEWABLE
ENERGY PENETRATION
SCENARIO: PATHWAY

04

2050

HIGH RENEWABLE
ENERGY PENETRATION
SCENARIO: ACTION PLAN

18

01

HIGH RENEWABLE ENERGY PENETRATION


SCENARIO: VISION AND CONSENSUS

Do not ever think about that we can escape, our every each step determine the
final outcome, our foot steps are moving towards the end of own chosen target.
Milan Kundera

We are continuously writing new chapters in our history. In the history


of energy, it is an irreversible path that we will gradually move away
from dependence on fossil fuels and transit to a high renewable energy
penetration future.
The international community has reached a consensus that high renewable
energy penetration is a critical part of the efforts to tackle climate change
and control temperature rise below 2 degrees. Europe and America have
been first in taking the meaningful step of providing blueprints. As the world's
largest developing country, largest coal consumer, and largest emitter of
greenhouse gases, China is confronted with challenges that are more urgent
and arduous as it transforms toward clean, low-carbon energy. "China
2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study"
analyzes how China can gradually phase out fossil energy, especially coal,
from its leading role in China's energy development, and give low-carbon
green electricity a prime part to play. This vision will help advance the goal of
a "Beautiful China" with the development level of medium-income countries,
clear water and blue skies.
The study takes high renewable energy penetration as the goal and
greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants as basic constraints; it conducts
technical and economic evaluation, power system production simulation,
social and economic impact evaluation, etc., and based on these optimizes
renewable energy deployment pathways under different scenarios as well as
puts forward corresponding implementation schemes. Results show that a
high renewable energy penetration scenario in 2050 is both technically and
economically feasible, in which renewables account for over 60% in Chinas
total energy consumption and over 85% in total electricity consumption
signifying a true revolution of energy production and consumption.
Figure 1 Model Cluster
MODEL
SYSTEM

MODEL SYSTEM PLATFORM


FOR DECISION-MAKING

Regional
optimized
deployment
model system
Macroeconomic
impact
assessment
model system

policy
evaluation
model
system
Technical and
economic
evaluation
system
02

MODEL
OUTPUT

INFORMATION OUTPUT
PLATFORM

Development plan of
renewable energy, allocation
of renewable energy
development targets

Submit to energy
authority the research
findings and policy
recommendations

Impacts on national macro


economic sectors and
economic indicators (GDP,
CPI, etc.)

Information disclosure
and report release to
public

Policy effect, social


economic impact, policy
efficiency and cost

Industry forecasts
reports and other paid
information services

Economic indicators
of renewable energy
technology, roadmap for
equipment manufacturing
industry and technology
R&D, industry development
forecast

Publications

03

HIGH RENEWABLE ENERGY PENETRATION


SCENARIO: PATHWAY

By 2050, Renewable Energy Could Meet More Than


60% of Primary Energy Demand

In a high renewable energy penetration scenario where over 60% of


end-use energy consumption is electricity, the energy system in 2050 is
highly efficient, with energy efficiency 90% higher than in 2010. By that
time, primary energy consumption is 3.4 billion tons of coal equivalent,
and renewable energy accounts for 62%.

50
Units: 100 million tce (calorific value calculation)
45

40

35

Solar and geothermal heating

30

Solar power
25

Biomass liquid fuel


Biomass power

20

Wind power
Hydropower

15

Nuclear power
Natural gas

Petroleum
Coal

0
2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

Figure 1 China's Primary Energy Consumption

04

05

High Renewable Energy Penetration Will Promote Fossil


Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions to Peak
by 2025

Under the high renewable energy penetration scenario, coal consumption


will be effectively controlled and the coal consumption peak can be
reached by 2020. The consumption peak of fossil energy will be realized
by 2025, and thereby reaching the goal of peaking greenhouse gas
emissions by 2030 will be assured and most likely to happen as early as
by 2025.

3000.00
Agricultural
Transportation
2500.00

Residential
Commercial
Metal

2000.00

Renewable Power is the Essential Replacement for Fossil


Energy

By 2050, the national total power generation will be 15.2 trillion kWh, 86% of
which will be renewable power and 91% non-fossil energy, while coal power
drops to below 7%.

POWER GENERATION (TWH)

Manufacturing
Chemical

1500.00

Coke
Electric Power

1000.00

500.00

0.00

Ocean energy
Geothermal power
Wood pellets power
Straw and stalks power
Biogas power
Municipal Solid Waste power
Solar power
Wind power
Hydropower
Nuclear power
Oil power
Natural gas power
Coal power

Figure 3 Power Generation in High Penetration Scenario


2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

Figure 2 China's Coal Consumption by Sector in High Penetration Scenario (million tce)

06

07

Wind Power and Solar Power Will Become Important


Pillars of the Future Power Supply

Various areas of the country will have the ability of developing wind
power and solar power on a large scale, laying equal emphasis on
centralized and distributed development.

172

247

Through technological breakthroughs, cost reductions as well as the


comprehensively deepening of power sector reforms, between 2020 and
2040, wind and solar power will develop rapidly, with an average of annual
newly installed capacity of close to 100 million kW. By 2050, 2.4 billion
kW of wind power and 2.7 billion kW of solar power will be installed, with
a total annual output of 9.66 trillion kWh, which will account for 64% of
Chinas total power generation and will become the main power source of
the future green electricity system.

141

469

183

395

36

100

86

67

38

46

6
7

25

2500000
2050

Figure 4-2 Layout of Wind Power


Development in 2050 (GW)

2000000
2.056 billion kW, by 2040

1500000
1000000

51

139
307 million kW, by 2020

500000

174 million kW, by 2020

42

139

33
12

20

11
20
13
20
15
20
17
20
19
20
21
20
23
20
25
20
27
20
29
20
31
20
33
20
35
20
37
20
39
20
41
20
43
20
45
20
47
20
49

Wind power

Solar power

35
117

86

19

54

8
99

165
65
Figure 4-1 Development Phase Diagram of Wind and Solar Power
Generation in High Penetration Scenario

92

167

51

96
102

46
70

96
85

70

83

37
40

54

88
12

08

51

79

59

172

3000000

31
31

10

56
0

2.204 billion kW, by 2040

3
139 8
125

Figure 4-3 Layout of Solar Power


Development in 2050 (GW)

09

Higher Electrification Rate Will Enable Renewable


Energy to Grow to a Higher Level

By 2050, Chinas end-use energy consumption will reach 3.2 billion tons
of coal equivalent, of which electricity will account for 60%, 36 percentage
points higher than that of 2010. Electricity will become the main form of
energy for peoples production and living.

16.000

Coal

14.000

Electric power

12.000

Solar heating

Transform the Electricity Transmission Network to a


Platform for Optimizing Resources Allocation

With the increase of renewable power generation, we need to expand the


transmission infrastructure in order to integrate renewable energy in a larger
geographical area. Regional interconnection and expansion of the balancing
area is helpful to reduce the changes in net load. There will be three crossregional transmission lines with a gross capacity of more than 100 million kW,
respectively, the Northwest-Central China line, Central China-East China line
and North China-East China line.

Petroleum

10.000
8.000

Biomass liquid fuel

6.000

Geothermal heating

4.000

Natural gas

397

283

Biomass heating

2.000
0.000
Industry

Building

Transportation

220
715

Others (residue heat)

250

290

40
315

Figure 5-1 Electricity Consumption by Sector

79

214

56
365

515

256

467

209
140

203

Geothermal heating 3%
Others (residue heat) 3%
Solar heating 6%
Coal 7%
Biomass heating 3%

354

352

197
188
155
216

98

Petroleum 11%

Biomass liquid fuel 2%

303

46

160

192

267

634

Natural gas 5%
46
Electric power 60%

Figure 6 Inter-provincial Transmission Capacity Demand and the Total Installed


Capacity of Each Province (GW) in High Penetration Scenario

Figure 5-2 Share of Electricity in End-Use Energy Consumption


10

11

Technological and Institutional Innovation is the Foundation to


Build a High Renewable Energy Penetration Power System

The contribution of variable power will rise from 30% to 60% in high penetration
scenario as compared with in reference scenario, making it more challenging to
ensure the real-time balance between electricity supply and demand. Variability
and uncertainty associated with high-penetration wind power and solar power will
be managed through increasing power trading in market, adding flexible generation
capacity, improving the flexibility of coal power, using energy storage technology and
demand response mechanism, as well as expanding transmission infrastructure.

Building a High Renewable Energy Penetration Power


System at a Small or Non-Incremental Cost

In the high renewable energy penetration scenario, the average cost of


electricity will rise slightly between 2030 and 2050, basically remaining
between RMB0.672/kWh and RMB0.685 yuan/kWh. Most of the incremental
capital investment of the high penetration scenario will be offset by saving
the fuel cost of fossil energy which would otherwise happen in the reference
scenario, and China could realize a high penetration scenario with a small or
non incremental cost.

2,500,000

2,000,000

0.800

1,500,000

1,000,000

500,000

T001

T003

T005

T007

T009

T011

T013

T015

T017

T019

T021

T023

Figure 7 Analysis of the Hourly Dispatch of Nationwide Power


Generation on a Typical Day in High Penetration Scenario

12

0.700

0.746

0.701

0.689

0.683

0.672

0.666

0.674

2011
0.180
0.000
0.259
0.021
0.022
0.229

2015
0.182
0.001
0.265
0.021
0.027
0.211

2020
0.183
0.001
0.269
0.020
0.029
0.193

2025
0.186
0.001
0.260
0.019
0.031
0.189

2030
0.190
0.001
0.235
0.018
0.035
0.188

2035
0.194
0.001
0.220
0.017
0.039
0.192

2040
0.199
0.002
0.206
0.017
0.043
0.194

0.678

0.685

0.600
RMB/kWh

Nuclear power
Coal power
Hydropower
Natural gas power
Wind power
Wood pellets power
Solar power
Geothermal power
Biogas power
Straw and stalks power
Municipal solid waste power
Ocean energy
Oil power
Pumped hydro storage

0.500
0.400
0.300
0.200
0.100
0.000

Transmission cost
Start-up cost
Fuel cost
Variable cost O&M
Fixed cost O&M
Capacity cost

2045
0.205
0.002
0.192
0.018
0.049
0.189

2050
0.211
0.002
0.185
0.018
0.053
0.194

Figure 8 Trend of kWh Cost Development in High Penetration Scenario

13

As a New Economic Growth Point, Renewable Energy


Can Significantly Improve the Development Quality of
the Overall Economy

The high renewable energy penetration scenario will create 12 million jobs in
2050 in the renewable energy and related industries, which will promote the
transmission of Chinas employed population from traditional manufacturing to
high value add industries.

Emerging industries like wind power, solar power, and electric vehicle
will become a new economic growth point. In 2050, the added value
of renewable energy industries will grow to RMB17 trillion, making a
contribution of 6.2% to the GDP of that year. The added value of electric
vehicle industry will grow to close to RMB 8 trillion, accounting for 2.9% of
the GDP.
600

7.0%
6.2%
6.0%

500

5.0%

400

4.0%

300

481
377
250

2.9%

3.0%

2.5%
1.6%

2.0%
1.0%

2015
2050

0.9%

200
125
65

100

81
15

36

13

0
Solar energy

0.0%
2010

46

2020

2030

Wind power

Hydropower

Biomass energy

Others

2050

Wind power industry chain

Electric vehicle Industry

Solar energy industry chain

Total renewable energy industry chain

Figure 9-2 Growth of Employment in Renewable Energy and Related


Industries (Unit: 10 Thousand)

Figure 9-1 Contribution of Renewable Energy and Related Industries to GDP

14

15

10

High Renewable Energy Penetration Will Help Bring


Back Clear Water and Blue Skies

Major pollutants and CO 2 emitted by the combustion of fossil fuel will


decrease significantly. The emissions of major pollutants (SO 2, NOx,
mercury, etc.) in 2050 will hold the line of that in 1980. The emissions of
CO2 will decrease to 3 billion tons, making outstanding contributions to
slowing down global climate change.

Unit: 10000 tons


Unit: 100 million tons

Note: China's data after 2010 is scenario analysis data and the
data of other countries is trend prediction data from IEA ETP 2014

100.0
90.0
80.0
70.0
60.0

2000
1800
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0

50.0

NOx high penetration scenario

1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050

Figure 10-2 China's NOx Emission in High Penetration Scenario

40.0

SO2 high penetration scenario

30.0

Unit: 10000 tons

SO2 high penetration scenario

3000

20.0

2500

10.0

2000
0.0
1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050

1500
1000

China

USA

EU

Proportion of China's
CO2 in world's total

Figure 10-1 China's CO2 Emission in the Global Contrast in High Penetration Scenario

16

500
0

1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050

Figure 10-3 China's SO2 Emission in High Penetration Scenario


17

MAJOR ACTIONS OF GOVERNMENT, RENEWABLE ENERGY


INDUSTRY, POWER SECTOR, AND THE SOCIETY BROADLY
Before 2017

GOVERNMENT

RENEWABLE
ENERGY
INDUSTRY

POWER
SECTOR

IV. JOINT
ACTIONS OF
THE WHOLE
SOCIETY

18

2020

2030

2050

(I) Formulate and Implement Clean Low-Carbon


Energy Revolution Strategy and Action Plan
Which Prioritize Renewable Energy

Formulate energy revolution strategy and action plan for


2030 and develop vision and goals for 2050.

Make coal consumption and coal power installed


capacity peak by 2020; CO2 emission peak between
2020 and 2025.

Fossil energy consumption reach peak and


begin to decline; renewable energy replace
the stocks of fossil energy.

Renewable energy meet 60% of energy


demand and 80% of electricity demand;
CO2 emission decrease sharply.

(II) Establish Power Market Mechanism That Is


Suitable for Renewable Energy Development

Deregulate power sales market; establish renewable


power priority dispatch mechanism; make power trading
centers independent from grid.

Establish competitive bidding market, multi-part tariff,


cross-provincial and cross-regional power trading
market; promote the separation of power transmission
and distribution networks.

Set up a modern electric power market


system under the support of the smart grid.

Form a 21st-century electricity market that


is open to everyone.

(III) Improve the Green Tax System and


Carbon Trading Market System to Create A
Fair Playing Field for Renewable Energy

Levy resource tax and environmental tax; and use the


fund collected to support renewable energy development.

Build up carbon trading market; start to allocate


carbon emission permits through auction; and levy
carbon taxes.

Fully implement the allocation of carbon


emission permits through auction

Complete formation of a green tax system


and a carbon market system.

(IV) Establish Sound Systems of Legal Protection,


Comprehensive Management and Professional
Regulation That Are Suitable for the Development
of Renewable Energy

Revise Electricity Law, strengthen power system


planning, and expand investment access; modernize
regulatory system.

Promulgate Energy Law, improve Renewable Energy


Law, and build a regulatory system in coordination
with the market-oriented reform.

Build sound systems of legal protection,


comprehensive management and
professional regulation.

Form new-type energy management


system

(I) Build Major Public R&D Platforms and


Technology Innovation System

Design innovation-oriented technology roadmap; build


public platforms for resource assessment, technology
R&D and testing for renewable energy such as wind
power and solar power.

Basically build up wind power and solar power


technology system; average levelized cost of wind
power and solar power reduce to less than RMB0.5/
kWh and RMB0.6 /kWh.

Grasp advanced integrated application


technology of renewable energy; wind
power and solar power generation are fully
economically competitive.

Build world leading renewable energy


technology and industrial system.

(II) Keep Sustained Large-scale Development of


Renewable Power Generation

Build a batch of demonstration projects (or zones) of


offshore wind power and distributed solar PV power.

Straighten out hydropower development mechanism


to realize steady development; accelerate the
development of both centralized and distributed wind
power and solar power.

Fully develop hydropower and roof top PV


power; accelerate the pace of wind power
and solar power development in North
China, Northwest, and Northeast.

Fully realize the diversified utilization of


various types of renewable power generation
technologies; the proportion of renewable
power generation exceed 80%.

(III) Fully Promote Renewable Energy Heating


and Fuel Use

Develop demonstrations of solar heating, biomass


heating, and geothermal heating technology and
innovative business models.

Promote the utilization of medium-low temperature


renewable energy heat; promote the commercialized
demonstration of advanced biofuel technology.

Promote the utilization of medium-high


temperature renewable energy heat in
industrial and commercial fields.

Fully popularize the utilization of lowtemperature solar heat and meet the
heat demand of all buildings and some
industrial users.

(I) Build a New-Type Grid Public Service Platform

Develop demonstrations of smart grid and micro grid;


promote integrated utilization of wind power and solar PV
power forecast system; construct inter-regional power
transmission lines.

Fully promote smart grid; build advanced power


dispatch platform, and realize large-scale, hierarchical
integrated and optimal dispatch.

Vigorously promote micro grid; build smart


distribution grid suitable for high penetration
of distributed generation.

Establish a comprehensive serviceoriented grid platform integrating two-way


transmission and interactive services.

(II) Optimize the Layout, Structure, and Operation


of Flexible Power

Control and optimize the layout of coal power development in


eastern area; speed up the construction of pumped hydro storage
and natural gas power stations; improve the regulating capacity of
coal power (including combined heat and power generation).

Fully control the scale of coal power; expand the scale


of pumped hydro storage and natural gas power; tap
the regulating capacity of coal power, concentrating
solar power, and nuclear power.

Change coal power into standby and peaking


capacity; coal power and gas power become
major adjustable power sources; all kinds of
power supply have the ability of adjustment.

Fully establish a diversified and flexible


power system.

(III) Develop Demand Response Mechanisms and


Energy Storage on a Large Scale

Develop demonstrations of adjustable load and demand


response; develop pumped hydro storage; demonstrate
advanced energy storage technology.

Expand the scale of adjustable load; promote


application of advanced energy storage technology on
the user side.

Fully tap the potential of adjustable load;


popularize advanced energy storage
technology.

Demand response and energy storage


become important flexible resources.

(I) Transform Energy Development Mindset and


Make Everybody a Renewable Energy Prosumer.

Enhance communications with the general public to let


them fully recognize that renewable energy is the only
road to a clean energy future

Everyone should take actions to promote the


production and utilization of renewable energy.

Energy users become energy producers


and consumers (prosumer).

Realize a new situation that everyone


enjoys, every family sells and everybody
benefits from energy.

(II) Promote Application of Renewable Energy


Heating and Solar PV Power in Residential and
Commercial Buildings

Speed up the development of building roof-top and building


integrated PV power; build demonstration projects (or
zones) of renewable energy hot water, heating and cooling
in residential and commercial buildings.

Scale up renewable energy heating and cooling


system; fully promote roof-top PV system and building
integrated PV system.

Fully promote renewable energy heating


and cooling system; new buildings are
mandated to install building integrated PV
system.

Renewable energy dominate residential


and commercial heating and cooling.

(III) Promote Electrification and Renewable


Energy Heating in Industry Sector

Develop demonstrations in printing and dyeing, textile,


and food industries of using electricity and renewable
energy heating to replace fossil energy

Promote large-scale application of using electricity


to replace primary energy consumption and using
renewable energy for heating in printing and dyeing,
textile, and food industries.

Promote the utilization of renewable energy heat


in such industrial sectors with higher requirement
for the quality of heat supply, including electricity,
iron & steel and chemical industries.

Fully popularize the use of electricity and


renewable energy heating to replace fossil
energy on a large scale

(IV) Promote Electrification in Transportation


Sector to Increase Valley Load and Flexible
Energy Storage

Promote electric vehicle development and encourage


charging during valley load period.

Electric vehicles have reached a certain scale, and


contribute to increasing valley load.

Fully promote electric vehicles and form a


valley load of about 100 million kW.

Popularize electric vehicles and provide a


valley load of more than 1 billion kW.

(V) Build Urban Renewable Energy System and


Smart Energy Internet

Develop demonstrations of micro grid and integrated


energy network in buildings, communities, or regions
to realize integrated utilization of renewable energy,
electricity, gas, and district heating.

Develop demonstrations of urban integrated clean


energy network that mixes the energy supply service
for residents, businesses, industries, and transportation
sectors, and experiment smart energy Internet.

The energy network, Internet of Things


and the Internet couple to form an "energy
Internet".

Fully develop smart energy Internet.

19

2010

2020

2030

50

2040

2050

70%

60%
40

35

50%

30
40%

25

20
30%
25
20%

15

10
10%
5

20

Share of renewable energy in primary energy consumption

Primary energy consumption (100 million tce, calorific value calculation)


45

0
Solar and geothermal heating

Biomass liquid fuel

Wind power

Nuclear power

Petroleum

Solar power

Biomass power

Hydropower

Natural gas

Coal

21

CH

UN

IE

RSI

NORT

TY

PARTNERS

NA

ELE

CTRIC

POW

ER

ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE


NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION

STATE GRID ELERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE

STATE GRID ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE

TECHNICAL SUPPORT