China to invest $800B in creaking electricity grid to speed up green transition

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The News

China will invest $800 billion in its electricity grid over the next six years to facilitate the shift from coal to renewable energy.

China’s grid is “creaking,” wrote the Financial Times, and is slowing its green transition: At least 12 of the country’s 34 provinces have demanded solar operators use battery storage to ease pressure on local grids, and more than 100 municipalities have suspended solar projects, demonstrating that limits have been reached.

China has already expanded its grid enormously — it has the world’s highest proportion of power lines under 10 years old, and accounts for more than a third of the world’s grid expansion in the last decade — but its generation capacity and demand, notably for data centers, electric vehicles, and AI, have all gone up even faster.