China's Energy Innovation Action Plan

On April 18th, the NDRC and NEA released an “Energy Innovation Action Plan (2016-2030)", which aims to sharpen the country’s focus on energy technology innovation out to 2030.

China’s energy systems currently face a number of serious challenges due to resource insecurity, energy restructuring, pollution, energy inefficiency, and grid inflexibility. The Action Plan seeks to address these issues by highlighting fifteen areas for technological innovation:

  1. Coal mining risk reduction
  2. Unconventional, deep, and deep-sea oil and gas extraction
  3. Clean and efficient coal technologies
  4. Carbon capture and storage
  5. Advanced nuclear power
  6. Spent fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste disposal
  7. High-efficiency solar power technologies
  8. Large-scale wind power
  9. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies
  10. Biomass, ocean and geothermal power
  11. High efficiency gas turbine technology
  12. Advanced energy storage
  13. Key grid modernization technologies
  14. “Energy Internet” technologies
  15. Energy saving and energy efficiency technologies

Here’s a closer look at what the documents say about energy storage, particularly in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and advanced energy storage.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies

  • Research focusing on renewable energy and nuclear power-to-gas technologies, hydrogen production from next-generation coal gasification and methane reformation/partial oxidation, distributed hydrogen production, hydrogen purification, and development of key materials and technologies in hydrogen transport and storage. Research on methods to achieve low-cost and large-scale integrated hydrogen production, storage, transport and utilization. Research on hydrogen fueling stations, hydrogen production standards and business models.
  • ŸResearch on PEMFC technologies, methanol/air hybrid polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (MFC), new energy mobility power sources, and research on extended life PEMFC and MFC electric vehicle pilots and program expansion.
  • ŸResearch on distributed fuel cell battery technologies, in context of demonstration projects and scalable deployment.

Advanced Energy Storage Technology Innovations

  • Research on high-efficiency concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies and high-capacity distributed thermal storage systems. Research on methods to increase grid peaking capabilities and the use of physical energy storage to address local supply issues. Research into renewable energy grid integration, distributed microgrids, the use of electric vehicles as grid storage, mastery of core technologies in each stage of energy storage development. Verification of completed pilot programs, ensuring that all technologies meet international standards and that Chinese energy storage technologies and industry development are internationally competitive.
  • ŸActively research high energy density and low cost thermal energy storage technologies, new concept energy storage technologies (including liquid batteries, magnesium-based batteries, etc.), superconductor and electrochemical multifunctional hybrid energy storage technologies, and strive for key breakthroughs.