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Case study

China’s Ocean Energy Development Strategies

Countries and regions
China, East Asia and Pacific
Action area


Case summary

China has set ambitious targets for renewable energy generation and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 64%–70% below 2005 levels by 2030. To meet these targets within a broader renewable energy portfolio, China is exploring the use of various marine-based energy sources. In particular, it is supporting measures to tap into its approximately 110 GW of potential tidal power in coastal waters. Key actions and good practices set forth to achieve a cumulative capacity of 50 MW of ocean energy by 2020 are listed below.

  • Policy support for research and development that enhances innovation, production, reliability, and efficiency related to specialized equipment is critical to enabling ocean technology deployment.
  • China is supporting innovation by prioritizing specific technologies that align with its unique circumstances, including tidal, wave, and temperature-gradient energy technologies as well as specialized equipment that enables long continuous use.
  • Islands are an integral part of China’s ocean energy development strategy, which includes island-based ocean energy systems, solar energy systems, and micro-grids.
  • Strengthening national and international cooperation has enhanced research and development efforts.
Planning and implementation activity
Developing Strategies and Plans
Institutions involved
State Council of the People’s Republic of China, International Renewable Energy Agency, International Energy Agency Ocean Energy Systems Technology Collaboration Programme, international ocean energy relevant conferences and organizations
Sectors and themes
Renewable Energy, Oceans and Coastal Resources
Source details
International Energy Agency (IEA)

Results supported byUNDPWorld Resources InstituteTransparency partnership