China has been experiencing a remarkable economic growth for the past three decades accompanied by significant energy consumption and environmental pollution, which led to great pressure on energy supply and environmental protection. The development of renewable energy has therefore become a major strategic issue for the country’s energy security, economic development, environmental sustainability and social stability. Meanwhile the participation of the private sector into the renewable energy sector has become increasingly important and necessary to utilize their knowledge, skills and resources as an effective supplement to the Chinese government which dominates the sector but suffers low efficiency and declining credit lines. Aiming at a better understanding of the activities and trends of the private sector in the renewable energy sector of China, this study retrieved project level data from the Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) database of the World Bank, and examined the data from various dimensions, such as investment size, PPI type, technology, and geographical distribution. Important and interesting observations were drawn such as emerging western China market and fast growing biomass sub-sector. A comparison between conventional fossil fuel projects and renewable energy projects was also undertaken in terms of unit cost and the results confirmed the high installation cost of renewable energy projects and highlighted the importance of government subsidies at present and technological advances in the long run to support the development of renewable energy. The empirical findings, although restricted by shortcomings of the data source, can provide valuable implications to policy makers and infrastructure investors interested in the renewable energy market of China.