VII. Accelerating Progress of Energy Technology

VII. Accelerating Progress of Energy Technology

China's energy technology has developed rapidly since the country launched the reform and opening-up program in late 1978, and has played an increasingly significant role in energy conservation, emission reduction, energy structure optimization and energy security. However, China still lags behind the developed countries in this field, particularly marked by its flimsy basis for independent innovation, backwardness in core technology, and dependence on imports for some key technologies and equipment. Therefore, the Chinese government will attach more importance to technological innovation. It will establish and complete at full speed an energy technology innovation system that suits China's reality, and combines efforts of enterprises, colleges and research institutes. The National Energy Technology Program During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, issued in 2011 as China's first scheme to improve its energy technology, has outlined the four key aspects of China's energy technology, namely, exploration and exploitation; processing and conversion; power generation, transmission and distribution; and new energy. The program also contains an overall plan to build a national energy technology innovation system that integrates research into key technology, manufacturing of key equipment, key demonstration projects and a technological innovation platform.

-- Reinforcing energy technology R&D. China will launch a series of strategic and advanced research projects on frontier technologies in basic sciences like geology, materials, environmental studies, power and energy, and information and control, with the aim of making breakthroughs in basic energy sciences. The Chinese government encourages major enterprises and research institutes in the industry to carry out studies in advanced and adaptive technologies, and put them into practical use, like high-efficiency and intensive coal mining technology, exploration and development technology of unconventional oil and gas resources, high-efficiency clean technology, offshore wind power technology, solar thermal power technology, advanced oil and gas storage and transportation technology, and high-capacity, high-efficiency and long-distance power transmission technology. China will press on with the two national high-tech programs -- "large oil-gas fields and coal-bed gas development," and "large and advanced pressurized-water reactor and high temperature gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations" -- to facilitate key technological innovations, and enhance the innovation abilities, including "original innovation," "integrated innovation" and "secondary innovation" in the energy sector.

-- Promoting progress of energy equipment technology. Based on major technological equipment projects, China strives to make technological breakthroughs, improve supporting facilities, set up and enforce technical standards for energy equipment, establish a complete testing and certification system, and raise its ability for energy equipment design, manufacturing and system integration. China will further enhance the supporting policy system, boost the technological advance of key equipment, such as high-capacity, high-parameter and ultra-supercritical generating units, gas turbines, third-generation nuclear power, renewable energy generating units, exploration and development of unconventional oil and gas resources, and spreading the application of state-of-the-art equipment. The government will also strengthen planning and guidance for the energy equipment manufacturing industry to prevent redundant construction.

-- Launching major technological demonstration projects. Centering on the transformation of energy development mode and upgrading of the energy industry, the Chinese government will give more support in funding, technology and policy to launch major demonstration projects in such fields as large pressurized-water reactors, high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, development and utilization of coal-bed gas, exploration and development of shale gas, and deep processing of coal, energy storage and smart power grids, thus promoting the application of technological and scientific research achievements in production.

-- Improving the innovation system of energy technology. The Chinese government will continue to support large enterprises, R&D institutes, colleges and universities to set up national innovation platforms that can conduct independent R&D and make breakthroughs in core technologies, especially technologies for coal exploration, development and utilization of coal-bed gas, exploration and development of shale gas, marine engineering equipment, high-capacity high-efficiency and low-pollution power generating equipment, smart grids and advanced nuclear reactors. It will improve the policy system supporting technological innovation platforms. The government will give full play to the role of enterprises in innovation, and encourage them to spread and apply innovative technologies. It will guide R&D institutes and institutions of higher learning to serve enterprises in the field of innovation, and better integrate the efforts of enterprises with that of the research institutes and institutions of higher learning. The state will set up an evaluation and reward mechanism for technological development, and establish and improve a training system and an incentive mechanism for innovations.