© 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. China experienced a rapid economic growth in the past few decades, whereas it has been facing a critical environmental situation. It is palpable that creating a sustainable energy structure in China is urgently required. As reported in China's 12th Five-year (2011-2015) Plan (which is a five-year development plan that outlines the development focus and strategic plan for different sectors in the next five-year period, published by the State Council of the PRC every five years), integrating more renewable energy, especially from solar and wind sources, becomes an essential part of their smart grid development. This article comprehensively reviews the existing achievements of renewable technology development and current status including relevant policies from central government and some on-going demonstration projects. Promoting new energy vehicles (e.g., electric vehicles) as an effective way of reducing carbon emissions is addressed in this article as well. Finally, the difficulties at the current stage are analyzed and future trends for a subsequent phase of development are also outlined.