Energy transition in China and the European Union: Plan vs. Incentives?

8 Dec 2014 12:00

Energy scarcity and the struggle for secure energy supply are key political issues both in China and the European Union. Both therefore develop policies to encourage the use of renewables, hoping that this form of energy will reduce import dependency on fossil fuels and the environmental dangers involved with their use. The year 2020 is an important landmark in this regard: While policy makers in China recently opened the process towards the next 5 years plan (2015-2020), the European Union set itself the goal to increase renewables to 20 per cent until that point.

In view of the differences between the socio-economic systems of China and the EU, the approach chosen for this ‘energy transition’ should differ. An open question is, however, how far the two policies are actually apart and what both parties could learn from each other. It is thus time to compare and discuss the similarities and differences between the approach China and the EU chose for the transformation of their energy sector towards the stronger use of renewables. Analysing the topic through the following questions, we want to contribute to this discussion:

  • What support regimes for renewables have been adopted, and why?
  • What is the role of public authorities on different levels of the political system?
  • What role do leading companies play, and what is their relationship with the government?
  • Are there preferences for certain forms of renewables, and why?
  • Do the targets and outcomes differ, and why do they differ?
  • What are the domestic and global impacts of both policies?

The expert pannel will consist of the following speakers:

  • Dr. Dörthe Fouquet, Director of the European Renewable Energies Federation.
  • Duncan Freeman, Research Fellow at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies.
  • Dr. Steffi Weil, Assistant Professor/Head of China Relations, Vesalius College
  • Chair: Dr. Thomas Sattich, Associate Researcher Environment and Sustainable Developmen


Thomas Sattich
Associate Researcher Environment and Sustainable Development

Anamaria Bacsin (Logistics)
Communications & Internal Events
+32 2 614 80 40
Institute for European Studies

Energy Transition in China and the European Union.pdf119.32 KB
Renewable Energy Framework in the EU.pdf686.42 KB
China’s Policy in the Renewable Sector.pdf1.12 MB
China_EU_wrap_up final.pdf104.21 KB