In the past years, many countries have begun to transition their energy systems towards a more sustainable energy supply based on renewable energies (RE). The transition of the Chinese energy system takes place in the context of similar developments around the world. The paths all these countries have undertaken so far vary and depend on a number of variables, such as their different starting points, geographical locations, or political and social setting. This report provides a short summary of the current status of the energy transition in China, followed by case studies to illustrate this variety.
These countries all have in common the experience of acting in a highly dynamic and internationally intertwined context while transforming their energy systems from a rather centralised approach with continuous energy generation based on fossil fuels to a more decentralised system with fluctuating energy generation from thousands of energy production facilities (wind, solar, and biomass). This requires that politics and regulation are governed by a clear long-term vision, with elaborated and regularly revised mid-term targets and continuous concrete adjustment steps on a short-term basis.