Chinese officials have outlined plans to invest nearly $500 billion in electric power infrastructure - including roughly $90 billion in smart grid technologies - by 2020, a strategy experts say could significantly improve the nation's energy efficiency and cement a dominant position in the smart grid market.
According to a report by the Center for American Progress, Chinese leaders view smart grid technology as "the next industrial revolution," and see an opportunity to emerge as the world leader in the supply chain for smart grid equipment and technology. Using increasingly sophisticated sensors, computers, and wireless devices, smart grid technology is able to transmit and distribute electricity more efficiently to customers and adapt operations to fit changing conditions, from shifting weather to user demand.
Experts say this ability will become increasingly critical as renewable energy technologies are integrated into energy delivery networks. That is particularly true in China, where energy demand continues to increase and government leaders have set a target of obtaining 9.5% of total electricity production from renewable sources by 2015.