EF China News

Green Finance Highlighted at Energy Transition Forum in Suzhou

On September 7, 2023, with the support of Energy Foundation China (EF China), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association co-hosted a green finance session, as part of the 2023 International Forum on Energy Transition in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. More than 20 experts from China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the British Embassy Beijing, leading energy enterprises in China, energy-related departments in developing countries’ governments, and top Chinese research institutions were invited to discuss how to innovate green finance tools and incentivize the green finance market to accelerate energy transition in China and other parts of the world. Zou Ji, CEO and President of EF China hosted a high-level expert dialogue at the subforum on policy and best practice for innovative green finance.

Five panelists discuss policy and best practice for innovative green finance in Suzhou on September 7, 2023. Photo by the International Forum on Energy Transition

According to Lu Junling, NEA’s Chief Economist, China’s clean energy installed capacity, power generation, and consumption has kept growing, as a value chain of R&D and equipment manufacturing is put in place. With more international energy cooperation, energy infrastructure investment has steadily increased, he said, who also indicated that energy transition will be a long-term effort. In the future, China’s energy sector will continue to focus on clean energy development and innovation, with optimized decarbonization policy, investment environment, and financial products and services, Mr. Lu said.

Lu Junling, Chief Economist of China’s National Energy Administration speaks at the green finance subforum on September 7, 2023. Photo by the International Forum on Energy Transition

Du Xuan, Director of Low Carbon Economic Growth at EF China, introduced research findings of a report on sustainable development of photovoltaics for rural household use in China. As a first attempt by EF China and AIIB to establish an innovative partnership on combined funding from philanthropy grants and multilateral development bank loans, this research summarized the opportunities and challenges of China’s rural rooftop solar power market against the backdrop of the country’s dual goals for carbon peaking and neutrality, before it presented potential business models and evaluated the development prospects of a new rural solar power system. Revealing the huge potential of rural energy systems in supporting China’s energy transition, researchers of this analysis hoped it could help investors and stakeholders identify emerging investment opportunities, thereby connecting capitals with clean energy technologies. Stefen Shin, Manager of Banking Department Region 2 at AIIB, said that rooftop solar in rural China is a critical part of the overall clean energy system, and China’s practice will provide valuable experience for other emerging markets. He also pointed out that in February 2023, the AIIB approved a $50 million rural rooftop solar power green loans project in China. This cooperative research with EF China has provided important evidence for the issuance of these green loans, he said.

Du Xuan, Director of Low Carbon Economic Growth at EF China, explains research findings of a joint EF China-AIIB report about rooftop solar on September 7, 2023. Photo by the International Forum on Energy Transition

Other leading experts also discussed the opportunities and challenges of innovative green finance development, as well as how to foster synergies to accelerate energy transition. The experts included Ma Jun, President of the Institute of Finance and Sustainability; Shannan Murphy, Counselor for Climate, Energy, and Environment at the British Embassy Beijing; Sun Wei, Vice President of GCL Power; and Gao Jinshan, Vice President of Gold Wind.

On the breakfast meeting of this subforum, Gu Haidong, Executive Vice Mayor of Suzhou; Francesco La Camera, Director General of IRENA; and Zou Ji delivered speeches and discussed the practical experience of green finance innovation, along with leading experts from the subforum. Vice Mayor Gu said that since the establishment of the strategic cooperation relationship between Suzhou and EF China in 2021, a number of projects for the manufacturing powerhouse city’s energy sector has provided strong support for its low carbon development. Zou Ji reaffirmed EF China’s continued engagement in Suzhou. Li Junfeng, Standing Director of China Energy Research Society; Konstantin Limitovskiy, Vice President of Investment Operation Region 2 at AIIB; Ma Jun; and Chen Haibin, Vice General Manager of State Power Investment Corporation also attended this breakfast meeting, among other experts.


More than 20 international and Chinese experts attend the green finance session of the International Forum on Energy Transition in Suzhou on September 7, 2023. Photo by EF China

In the future, EF China will continue to focus on carbon neutrality-compatible green finance innovations, support best practice of investment in energy transition, promote the establishment of low carbon pricing, taxation, fiscal, and financial tools, and work together with governments, universities, enterprises, and financial institutions to form synergies in supporting China’s energy transition.


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