Country Reports

In 2016, the Chinese Government released the “Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development”, emphasizing the development of the blue economy, protecting the marine environment and responding to global climate change. The “Action Plan for Energy Technology Revolution and Innovation (2016-2030)”, released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), in March 2016, aims to develop marine renewable energy demonstration projects and to establish a supply chain for marine renewable energy by 2030. 

The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) will release the “13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) for Marine Renewable Energy”, expecting to cover 6-8 island projects for multi-energy complementary power supply based on marine renewable energy with a target of 50 MW by 2020.The SOA and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) of China are continuing to fund marine renewable energies; a budget of RMB 100 million has been granted in 2016.


The Chinese Government released the “Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development”, in March 2016, providing a framework for economic and social development of China. The plan highlights the potential opportunities for the energy mix, and the active exploitation of tidal power in coastal areas.

The “Action Plan for Energy Technology Revolution and Innovation (2016-2030)” was released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration (NEA) in March 2016. The plan sets goals to develop high efficiency power generation devices in marine renewable energy (MRE), implement MW MRE energy demonstration projects, and establish a complete industry chain of MRE by 2030. In December 2016, the “13th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy” was released by NEA. The plan emphasizes the importance of promoting the demonstration and application of MRE, accelerating the construction of national ocean energy test sites and solving the bottlenecks influencing the energy conversion efficiency of ocean energy.

The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) is developing the “13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) for Marine Renewable Energy Development”. The plan sets goals to construct three marine renewable energy industrial parks, implement 6-8 island multi-energy complementary projects based on marine renewable energy, reach demonstration projects into 50 MW in total by 2020.

In December 2016, the Amendment to the “Interim Measure for the Special Funding Programme for Marine Renewable Energy” was released by SOA. It adjusted the focus of SFPMRE, including demonstration of key technologies and industrialization, large scale development, public platform construction, and integration of marine renewable energy.

In February 2016, the “Guidance on Promoting the Development of the ‘Internet +’ Smart Power” was released by NEA, emphasizing to build the Intelligent system of energy consumption and improve the proportion of RE as well distributed energy in the electricity supply.

In 2016, RMB 100 million budgets were granted by SFPMRE (Special Funding Plan for Marine Renewable Energy) to support 6 projects, including the tidal current energy demonstration, buoy system based on wave energy, power system of instruments based on tidal current energy, power system of offshore cage based on wave energy, assessment system of MRE technology, data system of MRE resource. To date, China has committed approximately RMB 1 billion to marine renewable energy RD&D since 2010.

Northeast Normal University (NNU): NNU turbine (15 kW) is a H-axis turbine, with cut-in speed of 0.45 m/s. The NNU turbine has been deployed near Zhaitang Island for open sea test since May 2016. The maximum output power is 15 kW, and the conversion efficiency is 25%. In 2016, CSSC Electronics Technology Co. Ltd and NNU were funded RMB 10 million by SFPMRE to develop the power system for ocean observation equipment based on NNU turbine.


Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS): IEE turbine (2×2.5 kW) is a floating H-axis turbine installed on the platform. The platform is 36m × 8m × 2m. The device was deployed near Xisan Island for open sea test in July 2016. During the test, the maximum output power is 1.73 kW, and the conversion efficiency is 40%.


Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion (GIEC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS): In November 2015, the 100 kW prototype of Sharp Eagle Wanshan was deployed for testing in Wanshan Islands. The device is 36m × 24m × 16m. Different from the single floating buoy of Sharp Eagle I, the 100 kW Sharp Eagle is installed with four floating buoys, which are placed with two buoys on each side symmetrically. As verified by the test result, the wavelet is available to be absorbed and the good performance on wave energy absorption is proven. During testing time, when the wave period between 4~6.5 seconds and the wave height range of 0.6~1.8 meters, most of the data remain above 20%, with the highest efficiency reaching 37.7%. The amount of electricity generated accumulated more than 30 MWh till June 2016.

Share Eagle I (10 kW)
Share Eagle II (50 kW)
Share Eagle Wanshan
Share Eagle Wanshan

The Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS): Supported by the SFPMRE, the IEE invented a novel point-absorber wave energy converter (10 kW) based on magnetohydrodynamic generators. The device was deployed for open sea testing near the Wanshan Islands. The total efficiency of the device is about 17.8%. The project passed the SOA inspection in July 2016.



Supported by SFPMRE, the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) of the SOA is developing an OTEC device using non-azeotropic ammonia-water mixture since 2013. The FIO has completed the design and installation of the OTEC system in 2016. The device achieves the power of 10 kW with its total efficiency over 3%. The FIO will carry out testing operation to verify the reliability of the OTEC system in 2017.

The national small scale test site in Weihai, Shandong Province, achieved two successful operations in 2016: Completed the preparation for subsea cable system development at the test site, which is an interconnection hub that will connect the test platform to the test centre, and committed to start the operation of the monitoring centre. Concerning the national tidal energy full scale test site in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, the feasibility study had passed the inspection of the SOA to initiate the comprehensive demonstration project. Concerning the national wave energy full scale test site in Wanshan, Guangdong Province, the 1100 m2 land area has been authorized for use in November 2016, and the permit application of sea areas is still in progress.


Jiangxia Tidal Power Plant: Built in 1980 and owned by China Longyuan Power Group Co. affiliated to China Guodian Corporation since 2003. Sponsored by the SFPMRE, the upgrading project (#1 turbine from 500 kW to 700 kW) passed the SOA inspection in July 2016. The new turbine has been operating for more than 2400 hours with power generation of 967 MWh.



LHD Tidal Current Energy Demonstration Project: Supported by the SFPMRE, Zhejiang Major Science Technology Project (ZMSTP), Hangzhou United Energy Co. Ltd. is developing the LHD Tidal current energy demonstration project. They plan to install 7 turbines in their platform, with installed capacity of 3400 kW. The platform was deployed near the Xiushan Island in March 2016. In August, Hangzhou United Energy Co. Ltd. installed two of their turbines in the platform (#1 turbine: 400 kW, #2 turbine: 600 kW), and connected them to the grid. To date, the power generation has accumulated to more than 170 MWh. In 2016, Hangzhou United Energy Co. Ltd. was funded RMB 45 million by the SFPMRE to press ahead with the next phase project.


Zhairuoshan Tidal Energy Power Demonstration Station: In 2015, the Zhejiang University (ZJU) installed a 120 kW turbine near the Zhairuoshan Island (with their 60 kW turbine already deployed in 2014). To date, the total power generation has accumulated to more than 30 MWh. In the future, the station can serve as a testing platform for tidal current energy turbines. Supported by the SFPMRE, the year 2017 will see the assembly and deployment of a new 50 kW hydraulic type turbine developed by the ZJU, as well as a 300 kW turbine developed by Guodian United Power Technology Co. Ltd..



Shengshan Island Isolated Hybrid Power Demonstration Station: Developed by Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute (SMDERI), the station comprises 300 kW WEC, 150 kW wind turbines, 50 kW bio-energy devices and 25 kW solar thermal cells. The station passed the SOA inspection in July 2016. The SMDERI plans to build an Ocean Energy Comprehensive Utilization Demonstration Centre based on the demonstration station.




Shandong Rongyuan New Energy Co. (SRNE): The SRNE is developing a 110 kW floating point-absorber WEC based on the WEC developed by the Shandong University (SDU). The SRNE has completed the commissioning test for the WEC, and will deploy the device near the Chu Island in February 2017.

China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation 710 Institute (CSIC710): CSIC710 has repaired the 100 kW floating raft WEC, which was damaged by a typhoon in 2015. CSIC710 optimized and improved the mechanical-linkage system, and will deploy the 100 kW WEC near the Wanshan Island in June 2017.

The 5th China Marine Renewable Energy Conference (CMREC), hosted by the NOTC and the Administrative Centre for Marine Renewable Energy (ACMRE), was held on 6th May 2016 in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province.

The theme was “improving the readiness level, and advancing the application level”. More than 200 government bodies, universities, institutes, businesses and stakeholders participated in the conference.


Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is used as a decision making tool: every project relating to the sea must conform to the Marine Functional Zoning.

In 2012, the State Council approved the National Marine Functional Zoning (2011-2020), and eleven planning of provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. China started the Marine Functional Zoning work in 1989.

Marine Functional Zoning is zoned in 8 categories: farming fishery area, port, shipping area, industrial and urban area, mineral and energy, touristic area, marine protected area, special use area and reservations.

Pre-selected areas for ocean energy development have been defined, under the category “mineral and energy”. Site selection planning should be consistent with the National Renewable Energy Development Planning, Marine Functional Zoning, Island Protection Planning and Marine Environmental Protection Planning.

The authorities involved in the consenting process are the following:

• Financial funding authorities: National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology and State Oceanic Administration (SOA). The involved authority depends on the financial funding sources of projects;

• Ministry of land and resources and related local department;

• Local electricity sector – approval of the grid-connection;

• Environmental Protection Departments – responsible for the EIA;

• Energy Management Departments – responsible for reviewing the energy assessment report.

The consenting process differs depending if it is a project funded by the government or with private funding. The examination and approval system applies only to the government investment project. The ratification system for enterprises do not use government funds to invest in the construction of major projects and restricted projects There are seven required approvals for developers:

• Initial approval by the Development and Reform Department of the project proposal;

• Examination and approval procedures of site selection and planning, pre-examination on land and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by the Land Resources Departments and Environmental Protection Departments;

• Approval of the feasibility study report and project application report by the Development and Reform Department;

• Planning permission procedures approved by the Urban Planning Department;

• Formal land use approved by the Land Resources Department;

• Certificate of right to use sea areas from the SOA or local government of maritime administrative departments;

• For power production and grid connection a specific permitting procedure is required which involves the utility distribution grid operator.

There is no specific authority responsible to manage the ocean energy consenting process as a whole (“one stop shop” facility or entity). The approval departments depends on the funding sources for the project.

An EIA must be submitted to the State Oceanic Administration and related Environmental Protection Departments.

The responsible for the decision on the requirement for an EIA are the Environmental Protection Departments. A “Marine Engineering Environmental Impact Assessment Technical Guideline” is available for developers, as well as related environmental protection standards. EIA baseline and post-deployment monitoring of the projects are not done.

Regulations issued by the SOA for the consenting process of ocean energy projects:

• Marine Renewable Energy Special Funds Management Interim Measures;

• Marine Renewable Energy Special Fund Project Implementation Management Rules

Regulations and legislation adapted for ocean energy:

• National Medium and Long-term Science and Technology Development Plan (2006-2020);

• “Renewable Energy Law Amendment”;

• “Renewable Energy Tentative Management Measures for Electricity Generating Prices and Expenses Allocation”;

• “Interim Measures for Renewable Energy Electricity Price Additional Income Allocation”.

The formal mechanism of public participation consists in expert meetings to select the preferential developers.

There are two mandatory consultees:

• State Oceanic Administration (SOA) – responsible for the approval of ocean engineering;

• National Marine Consulting Center – technical review of EIA documents.

Informal consultation activities implemented during the licensing process can be on a sample survey form, panel discussion, feasibility study meeting, hearing, etc. and it shall include the representatives of citizens influenced by ocean engineering, legal persons or organizations.

It is clear to applicants what permits are required, in what order and what information must be supplied at what time. Furthermore, there is guidance available to help developers during the process.