Photo: Frank Zhang / SwAM


A transition towards clean energy systems is indispensable for combatting climate change and realizing low-carbon development. In the twenty-first century, the world has seen an acceleration in both investment and deployment of clean energy, notably wind and solar, which are now taking over as least-cost options in several locations around the world.

With the growing penetration of renewable energy, we are seeing a shift in the major barriers to the clean energy transition. These barriers include economic competitiveness to power market transformation required to deliver new electric power systems with both the flexibility and stability to maximize the use of renewable energy generation. This transformation urgently requires innovation in both technical solutions and regulatory frameworks that can enhance regional energy cooperation and market integration.

In recent years, China has been focusing on addressing the alarming level of wind and solar power curtailment. At the same time, the EU is at the forefront of dealing with the complexity of a new energy market design, which offers relevant and useful experiences for China’s on-going electric power marketization reform.


SHUI-ChE is a four-year (2018-2021) project within the “Water and Energy Nexus” focus area of the China Europe Water Platform (CEWP), which was launched at the 6th  World Water Forum in 2012. The main mission is to promote policy dialogues, joint research and business development in the water sector between China and the EU.

The SHUI-ChE project aims to develop and enhance co-generation and exchange of knowledge by synthesizing and sharing experiences and best practices between EU and China within four different thematic focus areas of sustainable hydropower:

  1. Green standards in hydropower – from regulation to practice
  2. Operational schemes for optimizing the efficiency of small hydropower
  3. Pumped Storage Hydropower and comprehensive cost-benefit assessment
  4. Hydropower as an enabler for promoting regional energy cooperation and market integration of renewable energy in the clean energy transition and low carbon development

There are six work-packages (WPs) within SHUI-ChE. SEI is leading WP5 – Integrated Water and Energy Planning; and participating in WP4 with focus on pumped storage hydropower, and WP6 on developing the EU-China Sustainable Hydropower Innovation Network (ECSHIN).