Li Keqiang Calls for Breakthroughs in Storage Technology

Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, who also serves as Chairman of the National Energy Committee, recently emphasized the central role of transforming energy production and consumption in sustainable development at an NEC meeting on November 17, 2016. Premier Li highlighted the need for breakthroughs in energy storage technology to effectively exploit China’s rapidly growing renewable energy capacity.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), National Energy Administration (NEA), National Energy Committee members, and other experts shared reports on their research. Premier Li, who presided over the meeting expressed the following, giving a view into the policy direction and priorities of the Communist Party. Li expressed that energy strategy is the pillar behind national development. At present, considering rapid changes in energy technology and changes to the global composition of energy supply and demand, China, as one of the world’s major energy exporters and consumers must capture the new opportunities. Li indicated that the Party will work to implement practical development plans, with supply-side reforms as the central theme. In all, the government aims to increase China’s competitiveness in the global energy industry, constructing clean, low-carbon, safe, and efficient energy systems, to support China’s continued stable and sustainable economic development.

Sustainable energy development, Premier Li continued, relies on technology innovation and system reforms. He called for concentrated efforts to develop and exploit renewable energy resources, especially by way of grid integration, storage technologies, and breakthroughs in microgrid research. Through the Internet of Things construction of the “Internet+” and smart energy, China will upgrade the grid system adjust-ability, increase consumption of alternative energy sources, and develop highly advanced and efficient technology. Li expressed the need to actively encourage entrepreneurship, innovation, and the founding of new energy technology companies. While intensifying reforms in energy-related State Owned Enterprises, Li also signaled support of privately run enterprises entering the energy sphere. Such support can be achieved through marketization reforms, simplifying the regulatory processes, and transferring more rights to local governments, along with reforms in oil & gas drilling rights and reorganization of power transmission and distribution systems. Ultimately, the government aims to improve and encourage the development of distributed energy resources related mechanisms and policies, display the impact of market resource allocation, and the role government can play, all to establish a fair and competitive energy market.

To ensure energy security, Premier Li points out that China must take domestic and international concerns into mind, though based domestically, China must also look abroad for international cooperation. Especially in line with the Party’s “One Belt One Road” policy agenda, China seeks to increase international cooperation in production capacity, stregthening national competitiveness in energy equipment exports.

This article has been translated from the original Chinese, available here.