All markets

Mainland China

With a cumulative score of 2.36, Mainland China ranks number 2 among emerging markets and number 13 in the global ranking.

  • Emerging markets
  • Asia-Pacific

2.44 / 5

Power score

2.55 / 5

Transport score

1.95 / 5

Buildings score


Low-carbon strategy

Net-zero goal and strategy

Mainland China has set goals to peak its carbon emissions before 2030 and reach net-zero before 2060. The government updated its Nationally Determined Contribution, or its plan to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, in December 2020 with new targets, including a 65% decline in GDP carbon intensity by 2030, compared with 2005.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

The long-term strategy submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2021 stated further that Mainland China’s electricity sector would reach carbon peaking even earlier, so that 2030’s CO2 level would be some 15% lower than the peak.

Fossil fuel phase-out policy

President Xi Jinping announced in April 2021 that the country will start phasing down coal consumption from 2026-30, despite a later saying that “energy security” (mainly relying on coal) remains a high priority. He has also promised not to support any new-build of coal power in overseas countries starting from late 2021.


Power policy

Mainland China’s power market is undergoing a series of changes that will impact both generation and retail. For renewable energy, generous subsidies that spurred rapid growth are coming to an end, except for biomass and some rooftop PV. It is still unclear whether policy makers will extend feed-in tariffs or deploy auctions for future projects. So far, decisions are made on an annual and province-by-province basis.

Power policies

Renewable energy auction
Feed-in Tariff
Import tax incentives
Net Metering
Renewable energy target
VAT incentives

Power prices and costs

Retail liberalization now allows wind and solar assets in at least 28 of Mainland China’s 31 provinces to sell power directly to end users. Spot trading of electric power has also taken place in at least 8 pilot provinces. The sale of coal-fired power, which still dominates the power system, has been liberalized in most of the country.


Power market

For renewable energy, Mainland China launched its renewables portfolio standards (RPS) in 2020, mandating power consumers and retailers to source a set share of clean energy. Mainland China has imposed caps on the lifetime ‘hours of generation’ for which subsidy will be paid for all existing and new renewables projects. BloombergNEF categorizes it as a retrospective cut on subsidies, as it alters the earlier practice that subsidized the full actual generation.

Installed Capacity (in MW)

201220142016201820200500K1M1.5M2M MW

Electricity Generation (in GWh)

2012201420162018202002M4M6M8M GWh

Utility privatisation

Which segments of the power sector are open to private participation?


Wholesale power market

Does the country have a wholesale power market?

Not available

Doing business and barriers

There are no formal barriers to private sector participation in developing clean energy assets. However, private players face general disadvantages when it comes to obtaining local permits to construct, permits for grid connection, or obtaining cheap debt financing, while state-owned companies are often treated preferentially.

Currency of PPAs

Are PPAs (eg. corporate PPAs and all other types) signed in or indexed to U.S. Dollars or Euro?

Not available

Bilateral power contracts

Can a C&I (Commercial and Industrial) customer sign a long-term contract (PPA) for clean energy?

Not available

Fossil fuel price distortions - Subsidies

Does the government influence the wholesale price of fossil fuel (used by thermal power plants) down through subsidies?

Not available

Fossil fuel price distortions - Taxes

Does the government influence the wholesale price of fossil fuel (used by thermal power plants) up through taxes or carbon prices?

Not available


EV market

Mainland China is a global leader in electric vehicles (EVs). It currently has a target for EVs to account for 20% of passenger vehicle sales by 2025 and build 4.8 million chargers by 2020.

EV policy

The government provides upfront purchase grants for EVs, although the level of support has been decreasing, and exempts EVs from purchase taxes.

Transport policies

Electric vehicle target
Electric vehicle purchase grant or loan incentive
VAT incentives for EV
Import tax incentives for EV
EV charging infrastructure target
EV charging infrastructure support

Fuel economy standards

Does the country have a fuel economy standard in place?

Not available


Buildings market

In the building sector, Mainland China's central government encourages heating supplied using geothermal, biomass and solar. National building standards mandate energy efficiency levels for residential and public buildings as well as building heat energy consumption.

Energy efficiency policy

Does the country have a national energy efficiency plan?

Not available

Energy efficiency policy

Are there minimum energy performance standards for buildings?

Not available

Buildings policy

Together with local governments, it subsidizes the adoption of low-carbon heating. Most financial incentives for low carbon building improvements differ by region. In some, geothermal projects may receive a 50% rebate from the government.

Buildings policies

Low-carbon heat target/roadmap
Tax credits
Boiler scrappage schemes
Heat pumps purchase grants/loans incentive
Ban on boilers: new build homes
Ban on boilers: all homes

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