Currently no, but they are developing plans to build them. China’s largest electric transmission company has announced an ambitious plan to develop a national smart grid by 2020 that would help utilities and their customers transport and use energy more efficiently. The sheer size of the project raises some intriguing questions. First, about whether China has the capital and technology for such an extensive upgrade. And second, whether the project could provide an opening for U.S.-China cooperation on technological improvements that could benefit both. There’s little question that the grid upgrade is becoming a necessity for State Grid Corporation of China, which is responsible for delivering power to 80 percent of the population. Private firms and provincial governments across northern and eastern China are already commissioning several 10-gigawatt wind and solar generation bases that will depend on an advanced grid to help China reach its target of 15% energy from renewables by 2020, not to mention the 35% goal SGCC expects to meet.
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