Energy efficiency is a cost-effective alternative to investing in supply-side resources, such as building power plants and expanding the electricity grid. Using energy efficiency as a power system resource is particularly important in China, where air pollution from coal-fired power plants is a large and growing problem. Energy efficiency can do double duty: it can economically meet a portion of China’s needs for energy services while also making an important contribution to achieving the goals of China’s current Clean Air Action Plan. Internationally, methods for integrating energy efficiency into power system resource planning are readily available and are in active use in many jurisdictions.
International experience can be useful for integrating energy efficiency in a more meaningful way into China’s detailed planning process for the power sector. This paper explores policy and regulation to support the use of energy efficiency as a resource in China.