A Chinese worker checking the power lines in Haikou, south China’s Hainan province.

China’s 12th Five Year Plan recently released by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is, as we would expect, an ambitious initiative that affects several major industries and includes a commitment to several breakthroughs in key core technologies. Actually, ambitious may be an understatement.

The 12th Five-Year Plan in Smart Grid Major Science and Technology Industrialization Projects indicates that construction will accelerate even more than it has in the past.

According to a report from SGT Insights, the scope of China’s smart grid plan includes large-scale renewable energy and connection technology, the joint operation of large-scale energy storage technology, large-scale grid interconnection, long distance transmission control technology, distribution automation, microgrids, smart meters and demand response technology.

The plan also identifies the six major industries to take part in the accelerated smart grid effort:

  • Clean energy generation manufacturing, such as wind and solar power generation
  • New materials industry, including photoelectric conversion materials, energy storage materials, superconducting materials and nano-materials
  • Infrastructure manufacturing, including new electrical and electronic devices, transformers and more
  • Information and communication, including instrumentation, sensors, software and more
  • Alternative energy automotive industry
  • Home appliances and consumer electronics

Dr. Honghang Song from MOST’s high-tech department, commented “Smart grid is not only a key to develop large-scale intermittent renewables but also (has) an important supporting role for developing new energy strategy in emerging industry.”