16 Feb 2017

World Energy Outlook 2017: Rountable Meeting on China's Energy Outlook

Workshop — Beijing, China


Attendance is by invitation only.

Developments in China’s energy system are pivotal to the prospects for the national economy and also have far-reaching consequences for global markets and trends, reflecting China’s pivotal position in international energy affairs. The country’s influence has long been felt in coal, oil and gas markets, as well as in nuclear energy, but China is also now firmly established as a global leader in renewable energy, efficiency and innovation. 

The outlook for China depends on the outcome of multiple transitions that are underway, fostered by policies aimed at securing sustainable economic prosperity. The economy is progressively orienting away from a reliance on the heavy industrial sectors that have supported an unprecedented build-up of national infrastructure, towards domestic consumption, lighter industrial sectors and services. In parallel, the dominance of coal and, to a degree, oil products in the structure of energy use is being challenged by more environmentally benign sources of energy. In 2015, China was already the world’s largest investor in renewables-based generation (alone accounting for one-third of the global total), which amounted to double its investment in fossil-fuel based generation, as well as the leading investor in electric mobility.

Against a backdrop of a strong and growing partnership between China and the International Energy Agency, the 2017 edition of the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook (WEO-2017), to be released in November, will include a special report of China’s energy sector and its prospects to 2040. With major reforms already underway, as described in detail in the 13th Five-Year Plan, the aim of this special report is not to prescribe a path for China, but rather to provide a coherent overarching framework in which China’s own policy choices can be assessed, considering their implications not only for the country’s development, energy security and environment, but also for an integrated global energy system in which China plays a principal role. The workshop, organised jointly by the IEA and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), will help to shape the design of the WEO-2017 by identifying key trends and questions for further analysis.