Flexible Demand to Integrate Intermittent Renewables

The project aimed at helping China in meeting international commitments to become carbon neutral by 2060, and provided timely inputs and recommendations to Chinese policy makers for the formulation of the 14th Five Year Plan (FYP) and subsequent industry-specific plans and policies.

Year: 2020 Past Project

  • Overview


    The decarbonisation of the energy sector is the backbone of international commitments to become carbon-neutral by 2050 or before, in alignment with the Paris Agreement. However, large-scale integration of intermittent renewables into the countries’ energy grids poses significant financial and infrastructure challenges for ensuring low-carbon, secure and affordable electricity.

    Demand-side Flexibility (DSF) can ease and reduce the costs of renewables integration, electrification and network management. Furthermore, as the share of  renewables increases, the market for DSF services will grow. This potential is still untapped, especially among small consumers.

    This strategic collaboration project aimed to learn from UK and selected international DSF experiences and about consumer preferences (e.g. barriers and appropriate incentives), in order to inform policy design, business models and technology innovation to enable DSF in China.

  • Objectives

    The project helped improve China’s readiness for accelerating low carbon transition in the 14th FYP by contributing to the following outcomes:

    • Contribution to the introduction of market-led, low carbon energy sector reforms, by lowering the barriers to integrating intermittent renewables and promoting the efficient electrification of final markets.
    • Enabling clean sources of flexibility while reducing the dependency on coal for this purpose.
    • Identification of international best practices for consideration in China, including policies, business models (e.g. aggregation, Virtual Power Plants) and technologies (e.g. EV smart chargers) to support DSF.
    • Capacity building among policy makers and key stakeholders through webinars, events, media outlets, social media and academic publications.
    • Support of low carbon technology innovation to enable and optimise aggregated sources of flexible demand and renewable generation.

  • Partners

    • Climate Strategies
    • Oxford Climate Policy
    • Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC)
    • Energy Systems Catapult