China is the world’s largest coal consumer and the country with the highest greenhouse gas emissions. To meet its climate goal, in particular, the latest commitment to peak the country’s carbon emissions before 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2060, China needs to dramatically transform its energy system away from fossil fuels towards a renewable-energy based system. But despite its ambitious goals, China faces numerous challenges in the energy transition: in 2021, wind and solar energy are estimated to account for 11% of total electricity generation, while coal remained the main source of energy for industrial and heating power. A major problem is the design of effective energy policy measures to steer the energy transition and overcoming system inertia, which favors the survival of existing industrial and energy industry structures.



Against this background, the Sino-German Energy Transition Project supports the exchange between Chinese government think tanks and German research institutions to strengthen the Sino-German scientific exchange on the energy transition and share German energy transition experiences with a Chinese audience. The project aims to promote a low-carbon-oriented energy policy and help to build a more effective, low-carbon energy system in China through international cooperation and mutual benefit policy research and modeling. 


To achieve the overall objective, the Sino-German Energy Transition Project introduces German experiences of the energy transition into advising the Chinese government and energy policy-related think tanks.

The project implements this program under 4 work streams:

  • Providing technical advice to Chinese policy-makers on the low-carbon transformation of the Chinese energy system
  • Sharing German energy transition experiences and expertise as inputs for the modeling of energy scenarios and corresponding
  • Coordinating the contributions of German partner institutions to promoting the low-carbon orientation of China's
  • Increasing visibility of the German energy transition and Sino-German cooperation in the energy sector

The Chinese and German partners will collaborate in research of 9 topics. The project is expected to have a diverse range of outputs includes bilateral workshops, modeling workshops, policy reports and technical publi-cations.

  • Distributed Energy
  • Rural Energy Transition
  • Power Market Reform
  • Provincial Energy Transition
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Heating and cooling
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Hydrogen
  • Grid Planning (including flexibility and demand-side response)

Expected Results (excerpt)

Rural Energy Transition

Background: With a growing share of decentral renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, both power supply and loads will become more variable. Therefore, charging vehicles when supply is high and using their battery charges to stabilize the grid in low supply periods (vehicle-to-grid, V2G) is can help improve power system flexibility, especially in rural areas with high vehicle ownership and dependence.
Output: A study on the economics of microgrids and V2G for integrating large amounts of renewable energy, electronic loads, and electric vehicles in cooperation with Wuppertal Institute and CAS Institute of Applied Ecology (IAE). The study research will include surveys in one Chinese village and one German village.

Impact: For the first time, the project will concretely model the potential of V2G on the level of a rural community, using data from real measurements in the German village. This work can inform grid planning and system integration of renewables in rural areas, both in Germany and in China.


Background: With digitization advancing at breathtaking speed, the need for computing power in data centers is rising dramatically. As estimated, global data center electricity demand in 2018 reached 198 TWh, almost 1% of global final electricity demand. With growth expected, their efficient integration into the energy system has therefore a major impact on power sector operations and emissions.

Output: A study on the potential of data center demand response to contribute to power system flexibility, as well as their potentials for energy efficiency measures and sector coupling, for example by using waste heat.

Impact: With China expecting high growth in data center capacity and energy consumption, this study looks at international best practices and generates valuable insights into how flexibility measures can be implemented in the prevailing conditions.

The Sino-German Energy Transition project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in the framework of the Sino-German Energy Partnership, the central platform for energy policy dialogue between Germany and China on national level. From the Chinese side, the National Energy Administration (NEA) supports the overall steering. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH leads the project implementation in cooperation with the German Energy Agency (dena) and Agora Energiewende.

Project Publications

EnTrans Phase II (2020-2022)


A comparative Analysis and Simulation of DSM and Energy Efficiency in Chinese and German Industry (English)

A comparative Analysis and Simulation of DSM and Energy Efficiency in Chinese and German Industry (Chinese)

Authors: Dr. Philip Schnaars, Tobias Sprenger, Patricia Wild, Julian Keutz, Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne gGmbH (EWI)

Download the DSM_EE_Simulation_Tool_EN

Download the DSM_EE_Simulation_Tool_CN


Pursuing a low-carbon rural energy transition in China and Germany (English)

Pursuing a low-carbon rural energy transition in China and Germany (Chinese)

Authors: Bing Xue, Hongqing Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Applied Ecology / Michael Popp, Markus Zdrallek, Jessica Stephan, Sven Pack, Wuppertal University / Ulrich Jansen, Thorsten Koska, Wuppertal Institute / Anders Hove, Philipp Geres, GIZ


Assessing power system adequacy in Germany and Europe, and lessons for China - English

Assessing power system adequacy in Germany and Europe, and lessons for China - Chinese

Authors: Dr. Karolina Jankowska, dena, Dr. Thomas Ackermann, Energynautics, Peter-Philipp Schierhorn, Energynautics Anders Hove, GIZ


Data centre flexibility in Germany and China - English

Data centre flexibility in Germany and China - Chinese

Authors: Katerina Simou, dena; Corina Bolintineanu, dena
Contributors: Anders Hove, GIZ China; Dr. Peter Radgen, University of Stuttgart; Ye Ruiqi, Greenpeace East Asia; Zhang Sufang, North China Electric Power University


Impact of China wholesale power price reform on economics of distributed PV and storage

Authors: Anders Hove, Zheng Qi, GIZ


Flexibility Technologies and Measures in the German Power System

Authors: Dr. Karolina Jankowska, Corina Bolintineanu, dena



Work in Progress 2021: The Sino-German Energy Transition Project (EnTrans)


Economics of Urban Distributed PV in China

Authors: Anders Hove, Qian Wenyun, Liu Qingyang, Liu Yuzhao, GIZ


China Energy Transition Status Report 2020

Authors: Anders Hove, Qian Wenyun, Zhao Kaiming, Philipp Geres, Liu Yuzhao, GIZ


China Energy Transition Status Report 2020

Authors: Anders Hove, Qian Wenyun, Zhao Kaiming, Nicole Kim Fuers, GIZ


A quantitative comparative study of power system flexibility in Jing-Jin-Ji and Germany

Authors:  Zheng Yanan, Wang Xinnan, Anders Hove, Li Gengyin, Guo Zheyu


EnTrans Phase I (2017-2019)


China Renewable Energy Outlook 2017

China Renewable Energy Outlook 2018

China Renewable Energy Outlook 2019


Distributed wind and PV in Denmark and Germany


Transmission Grid Planning in systems with high shares of Renewable Energy - Planning the future energy system in China

Authors: Reemt Heuke, Carolin Schenuit, Yanan Zheng, Anders Hove, Wang Xinnan


The German Coal Commission - A Roadmap for a Just Transition from Coal to Renewables


Assessing China solar PV output growth in 2019 and 2030


Coal, Water, and Grasslands in the Three North


Industrial Demand Side Flexibility in China, German Experiences – Status Quo and Potential in China – Policy and Market Recommendations


How to use PPAs for cost efficient extension of renewable energies - Experiences with Power Purchase Agreements from Europe and the U.S. / Lessons learned for China


Energy Transition Trends 2019



Energy Transition Trends 2018


A Star for China’s Energy Transition - Five Golden Rules for an Efficient Transformation of China’s Energy System

Authors: Shuwei Zhang, Yongqiang Zhao, Markus Steigenberger


The economies of support policies for renewables

Authors: Carolin Schenuit, Annegret Dünnwald, Anders Hove, Wang Xinnan


Demand Side Management (DSM): Introduction and practical experiences in Germany

Authors: Carolin Schenuit, Lukas Vogel



Energy Transition in the Power Sector in China: State of Affairs in 2016

Authors: Simon Göß, Marie-Louise Niggemeier


Thermal power plant flexibility - Chinese version


Overview of Distributed Generation in Germany


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Project Brochure


Work in Progress 2021: The Sino-German Energy Transition Project (Chinese)

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Work in Progress 2021: The Sino-German Energy Transition Project (EN)

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Sino-German Energy Transition Project

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Project Videos


GIZ research - Quantifying the impact of air pollution on solar output

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Data Centre Flexibility in Germany and China: Results from an Interview-based study

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Solar Trends and Renewable Sector Coupling

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Our Team

Anders Hove

Anders Hove

Project Director
Sino-German Energy Transition Project


Philipp Geres

Philipp Geres

Project Manager
Sino-German Energy Transition Project


Qian Wenyun

Qian Wenyun

Project Officer
Sino-German Energy Transition Project


Christoph Both

Christoph Both

Project Manager
Sino-German Energy Transition Project


Liu Xueling

Liu Xueling

Technical Advisor
Sino-German Energy Transition Project