Renewable energy technologies have matured with costs declining significantly, but national policies are still necessary in directing investment and ensuring the full use of clean energy in China, experts and senior corporate executives said Tuesday at a panel of the annual Summer Davos in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province.[Special coverage]
"Clean energy has become a mainstream technology," John Carrington, CEO of US-based energy company Stem Inc, said at the panel, noting that the cost of renewable energy has fallen by 15 percent to 17 percent so far compared with 2016.
He said that further cost declines are likely this year.
For example, he said, take batteries for new-energy vehicles (NEV). "Chinese companies are increasing the production capacity of NEV batteries," Carrington said. "As supply surges, costs will decrease."
Lower costs will make clean energy more affordable, but government policy is needed to achieve a top-to-bottom effect, Garsten Stocker, the head of the blockchain competence team at Germany-based Innogy SE, said at the panel.
"In China, wind and solar farms are installed in remote counties where demand for energy is very low … But there is no line to transmit the electricity to city centers," Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, said at the panel, noting that this has resulted in a waste of renewable energy.
Lin urged government subsidies and national policies to fix the problem. "Maybe a large power distribution network can be built," he noted.