Connecting Business to Government and Facilitating Private Sector Cooperation


The German energy transition plays a pioneering role with a globally signaling effect. Driven by its domestic support scheme for renewable energies, Germany has made a significant contribution to the worldwide technological development of photovoltaic, wind power and biogas plants. This would not have been possible without strong players in the private sector, which provide investments, develop and scale technologies and train expert personnel. 

The global energy transition, nevertheless, has more than one pioneer. With its energy revolution, China has a thriving impact on the development of renewable energies. China is already leading in renewable energy production figures and is the world’s major producer of wind and solar energy. Although Germany and China are both dynamic forces of the global energy transition. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve energy systems based on clean energy. Although Germany and China have different characteristics within their transitions, international level cooperation is crucial for meeting the goal of a national and global energy transition.

Private sector cooperation between Germany and China

The German and Chinese economies are highly intertwined and look back to a history of successful cooperation. China is Germany’s most important global trading partner, while Germany is China’s most important trading partner in Europe. In recent years, cooperation between the two countries has been increasing in new policy areas. Private sector cooperation, research collaboration and the development of common standards are unlocking enormous economic potentials on both sides. In the upcoming years, an increasing demand in China in the areas of energy and environmental technologies as well as mobility and transport is expected. With longstanding German expertise in these industries, Sino-German cooperation will remain an indispensable instrument in creating momentum for a green economy.

Private sector cooperation is an integral part of the Sino-German Energy Partnership (EP) to drive the energy transition in China and Germany. The EP aims to encourage private sector cooperation, create fair market conditions and showcase German best-practice technologies and system solutions. German companies can benefit from reliable market information and channels of dialogue with energy policy makers. Besides renewable energies, the EP covers all topics relevant to energy transition, ranging from energy markets, sector coupling, sustainable heating, biogas, hydrogen to energy efficiency.

The EP offers formats to integrate the private sector in the political dialog and to facilitate private sector cooperation:

Local Business Advisory Councils

The Local Business Advisory Council is a key instrument for the business-to-government exchange for German companies and the German Federal Government. Its bi-annual meetings in Beijing and Shanghai enable German energy and related industries to communicate challenges and barriers that they experience in the Chinese market. Suggestions from the private sector are integrated in the EP’s activities, including working group meetings, business roundtables and workshops.

High-level political dialogue

Each year the BMWi jointly holds two working group meetings with its Chinese partners, NDRC and NEA, to talk about energy cooperation in energy efficiency and renewable energies and to decide upon thematic focuses for the coming year. The EP organizes the meetings and suggests relevant topics for the political dialogue. Accelerating the market for energy and environmental technologies is at the core of the bilateral cooperation. The private sector is familiar with the policy framework in both countries and has first-hand experiences with related business obstacles. The perspective of companies is, therefore, a necessary input for setting the agenda and steering the joint efforts towards a more conducive market framework. 

Roundtables with governmental authorities

In economic roundtables the EP creates an exchange platform for Chinese governmental bodies and the private sector. Authorities from local to national level can express needs for energy and energy efficiency solutions, while industry representatives are invited to introduce latest innovations. The roundtables provide companies and policy makers the opportunity to discuss the necessary policy framework for the application of advanced technical and system solutions. Initiatives for economic roundtables can come from the public and private sector. Companies planning to introduce technologies with a positive impact on energy saving or generation can approach the team of the EP. We support with the identification of governmental authorities and the organization of meetings.

Study tours of private and public sector representatives

Germany enjoys an outstanding reputation for technological innovation and market regulation in the energy sector. Chinese high-level delegations of government officials and private sector representatives frequently travel to Germany to meet with their German counterparts to exchange experiences and to learn about German best-practices. The EP provides suggestions for visits, organizes meetings and accompanies delegations to Germany. Hosting a delegation in Germany can provide a unique opportunity for German businesses to familiarize participants with a company’s profile and to initiative a cooperation in China. Vice versa, the EP also supports German business and government delegations in China.

Piloting of innovative technologies in demonstration projects

China is urgently seeking for state-of-the-art technologies and best-practice experiences to increase energy efficiency. With the overall goal to identify economic potentials and to promote technical and system solutions for energy saving and environmental protection, the EP plans and implements demonstration projects in cooperation with its German and Chinese partners. The demonstration project on “Energy Saving in the Energy-Intensive Industry” is currently under implementation, while a second demonstration project on “Energy Saving in Urban Districts and Industrial Parks” is in the planning phase and expected to start by the end of 2020. In technology forums, workshops and study disseminations, German businesses can demonstrate technologies and build business networks.

Compilation and dissemination of information on the German and Chinese energy transition

Germany and China can learn from each other’s experiences. The EP secretariat strives to maintain active channels of communication between both countries by sharing knowledge, best-practices and up-to-date developments from the energy sector. Based on the thematic focuses, set in the yearly working group meetings, the EP produces studies and reports on a range of topics from energy markets to renewable technologies and energy efficiency. The EP also translates relevant third-party studies from German to Chinese and vice-versa.

Moreover, the EP publishes two newsletters. With the bimonthly “Energy in China” newsletter, the EP informs international subscribers about events, policies and market developments in the Chinese energy sector. In the monthly issue of the “BMWi Energiewende Direkt”, Chinese readers can get updates on the state of the German energy transition. For subscribing to EP’s newsletters, klick here (under “Project and Programme Newsletters”).

Further Reads

Towards a better environment for green technologies in China - 5. BAC Meeting

Can Demonstration Projects Benefit German Business Activities in China?

4th German Local Business Advisory Council meeting

Sino-German Energy Efficiency Cooperation Projects Award

3rd Meeting of the German Local Business Advisory Council

2nd Meeting of the German Local Business Advisory Council

Establishment and First Meeting of the German Local Business Advisory Council

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Vincent Fremery

Project Advisor

Sino-German Energy Partnership
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Vincent Fremery

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