China-Africa cooperation on green energy transition: Potentials and barriers: Chinese perspectives

This event is in the past. Here for information only.

This webinar, part of the China and Global Development Seminar Series, is delivered by the IDS China Hubthe Centre for Rising Powers, and the China Global Development Knowledge Network, in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council. This webinar is part of a webinar/seminar series funded by the UK Anchor Institution for China International Development Research Collaboration project.

Webinar 1 of 2: China’s role in Africa’s clean energy transition: The Chinese perspectives

Details of webinar 2: The African perspectives can be found here.

China is the largest bilateral partner in Africa to develop energy infrastructure projects. According to International Energy Agency, 30 per cent of newly installed power generation capacity between 2010 and 2015 is backed by Chinese contractors and finance. By 2020, over 10 percent of African total power generation capacity will be developed by Chinese companies. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that China-Africa cooperation in the energy sector would significantly shape Africa’s energy development pathway.

However, among over 200 on-going Chinese-backed projects in the energy sector across Africa, non-hydro renewable energy source, such as wind and solar energy projects, are currently playing a relatively small role, with less than 4 per cent of all projects. This presents a sharp contrast between China’s significant domestic wind and solar capacity built over the past decade. What are the explanations and what are the barriers that can be noted both within Chinese and African institutions to scaling up wind and solar energy activities? And more importantly how to scale up China’s involvement in Africa’s renewable energy sectors and what are the roles for the Western organisations to play in the process? This webinar series addresses such key questions in two sessions.

The webinar sessions are scheduled on 28 Oct and 11 Nov, each focusing on potentials and obstacles within China, and within African countries, respectively. We aim to up to invite researchers, professionals, financiers, and business practitioners to join the webinars to discuss both potentials and challenges to scaling up China’s role in African countries urgently needed green energy transition. We will invite up to 4 speakers from different background to speak for about 15 minutes each, and then open up for a plenary discussion for about 30 minutes.

Sessions and slides

1. Overview of Chinese renewable energy activities in Africa: by Wei Shen (Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies)


2. China’s wind and solar energy investment in Africa: Chinese enterprises’ perspective by Li Sisheng (Director of Renewable Energy Department, PowerChina)


3. China’s wind and solar energy activities in Africa: the role of financial institutions and export credit agency. By Chen Chaoqi (Deputy General Manager, China Export and Credit Insurance Co.)


4. China’s wind and solar energy activities in Africa: new business models and opportunities? By Bingzhong Yan (Director of International Cooperation, China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute)




Jing Gu is Director of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development at the Institute of Development Studies, and senior fellow of the Business, Markets and the State cluster. She has an interdisciplinary background in law, economics and international development and has extensive experience in the field of governance, business and development. She is the Principal Investigator leading the UK Anchor Institution for China International Research Collaboration project, including its China and Global Development Seminar Series.


Dr. Wei Shen is a research fellow in IDS. His research interests include south-south cooperation on climate change and energy transition, with particular focus on Chinese overseas renewable energy activities along the Belt and Road Initiative and African countries.

Mr. Li Sisheng, is the vice chief engineering officer of Power China International Group Limited, and director of its New Energy Department. He has been developing, consulting and inspecting hydro, wind and solar energy projects for decades. In the past few years, he has been leading the renewable project development in Vietnam, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kenya and Nigeria. He is also the leading expert on researches in Chinese wind and solar technical standard and going out strategy of these sectors.

Mr. Chen Chaoqi joined China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) in July 2003, and is currently the Assistant General Manager of Client Relationship and Business Development Department, which is responsible for overseas markets development and key projects facilitation in Sinosure. He has rich experience in developing new business practices to support newly emerged industries to explore with overseas market and design new business models.

Mr. Bingzhong Yan is the director of Department of International Cooperation at China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute (CREEI). He has over 15 years of experience of engaging planning and policy research in the area of hydro and non-hydro renewable energy projects. He is involved in developing Chinese 12th and 13th five year plan of hydropower development, and his studies covers Chinese overseas energy activities in Pakistan, ASEAN and Africa countries.

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