Government support will bring total investment in China's 'energy internet' to more than 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) by the end of this year, a senior official said on Friday.
The energy internet, also referred to as Internet Plus Smart Energy, focuses on integrating energy production, transmission, storage and consumption with the market and the internet.
Li Ye, chief economic manager of the National Energy Administration, said the burgeoning new sector will bring significant opportunities to the energy industry including boosting the distribution of renewable energy and cutting carbon emissions.
He made the comments during a news conference held by the Press Office of the State Council in Beijing.
"The energy internet is important to implementing 'Made in China 2025' in the energy sector, which is beneficial for China's technology standards to go global," he said.
The development of China's energy internet will be done in two stages. From 2016 to 2018, the central government plans to build a batch of pilot and demonstration projects before promoting those that have matured between 2019 to 2025.
"At present, we have received many proposals from provinces and autonomous regions. The investment value of those projects will be at least 40 billion yuan," Li said, adding that the National Development and Reform Commission will spend 300 million to 400 million yuan on a special fund to support certain key projects.
Li said the energy internet has huge potential in China and will make a difference to the way the public consumes energy in future.
"Internet technology can be combined with traditional energy industries including power, coal, natural gas and new energies. People will be able to sell their home-generated electricity to the grid in future," he said.
According to the plan, the government will support small-scale users such as individuals and families by sharing distributed energy resources and trading energy using internet platforms.
The administration has already carried out the fundamental work required to develop the energy internet, it said.
This includes building a unified and open technology standard for the sector, as well as working on increasing effective investment — including through nongovernment capital.