How to stimulate renewable energy power generation effectively? - China's incentive approaches and lessons

Zhen Yu Zhao*, Yu Long Chen, Rui Dong Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


The renewable energy power generation (REPG) in China has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade. To understand this rapid growth, it is necessary to explore how Chinese government triggers the remarkable development of the industry. This paper offers a systematic analysis of the incentive policy system for REPG in China, covering wind power, solar photovoltaic, small hydropower (single-unit power generation capacity less than 50 MW), biomass power and geothermal power. The incentive system contains laws, regulations, policies and industrial plans issued during the 11th and 12th "Five-year Plan" periods (2006-2015). Four major incentive strategies of the Chinese government are identified: research and development incentives, fiscal and tax incentives, grid-connection and tariff incentives, and market development incentives. The results show these incentive methods have played a significant role in promoting the development of REPG in China, but still there are some problems associated with them. International comparisons of the incentive policies with those of Denmark, Germany and US, as well as the strategies to further improve the Chinese incentive approaches are discussed. This comprehensive analysis of China's incentive policy system for REPG helps to understand China's experience in promoting renewable energy, contributing to better decision-making in policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


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