Sino-German Energy Partnership

Project description

Title: Sino-German Energy Partnership
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Country: People's Republic of China
Partners: National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), National Energy Administration (NEA)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018


Cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the People's Republic of China in the field of energy policy started in 2006. In early 2013, the countries agreed to intensify their collaboration on establishing a sustainable energy supply. In view of Germany's dependence on energy imports and the three goals of the German energy transition – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency – the German Government, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), has entered into several bilateral energy partnerships. In addition to the Sino-German Energy Partnership, further partnerships exist with other major energy-producing and -consuming countries such as India, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil.

Setting up a secure, affordable and environmentally friendly energy supply is also a clear strategic goal for China. In this context, the country is facing enormous challenges. As the world's largest consumer of energy, China has significant influence on the future development of the global energy supply, the energy markets and global carbon emissions. In-depth dialogue on lessons learned from the energy transition and approaches to expanding the use of renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency is therefore of interest for both Germany and China.


Germany and China collaborate successfully on liberalising electricity markets, rolling out efficient energy technologies, and increasing the use of renewable energy and integrating it into existing systems.


The energy partnership combines high-level government dialogue and expert advice with the involvement of the private sector. BMWi, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration (NEA) of the People's Republic of China agreed on the specific areas they want to focus on. These are being addressed by two thematic working groups:

  1. Energy Working Group
    Promotion and system integration of renewable energy
    Electricity market regulation and reformation
    Grid regulation and expansion, storage, smart grids (digitalisation of the energy transition)
    Heat supply from renewable energy
  2. Energy Efficiency Working Group
    Energy efficiency in buildings and industry
    Load management
    Energy-saving products
    Business and financing models

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is coordinating the energy partnership on behalf of BMWi and has set up an Energy Partnership Secretariat, with contacts in both Beijing and Berlin. The Secretariat serves as a point of contact for German and Chinese actors who wish to participate in the bilateral energy partnership. The organisers are keen for stakeholders to get involved, particularly the private sector. Companies can present their energy technologies and solutions to problems relating to the energy transition at specialist events and contribute their ideas to the bilateral energy policy dialogue.

GIZ provides advice on the technical and strategic implementation of the energy partnership and organises study trips and workshops. It also supports the Sino-German Energy Partnership through scientific studies on topics and issues selected by the political representatives of both countries.


The Sino-German Energy Partnership plays a role within China in sharing lessons learned from Germany’s energy transition and in raising awareness among Chinese energy sector stakeholders of the challenges involved in the energy transition. Regular working group meetings and high-level bilateral meetings facilitate in-depth political and technical dialogue on the energy transition between German and Chinese decision-makers.

Numerous expert workshops, study tours and round table discussions are organised during the year with private sector involvement, intensifying the dialogue on energy topics between Germany and China. As a result, the general legal and technical conditions in the Chinese energy market have been improved, enabling more sustainable development. For example, Chinese stakeholders have embraced the German model of using energy-efficiency networks as a tool for promoting energy savings, making particular use of this approach in their energy-intensive industrial sector. The Chinese policy for promoting renewable energy also draws on lessons learned in Germany.

The energy partnership also supports bilateral exchange in the context of major international events such as the 2016 International Forum on Energy Transition (IFET) in Suzhou. It was at this event that both countries expressed their support for the Energy Transition Coalition, which was officially initiated at the 2017 Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD). In this way, the energy partnership is supporting and driving the implementation of a global energy transition.

China © GIZ