“Best practice” in policymaking and institution-building for the deployment of grid-connected renewable energy (GCRE) can be found scattered throughout reports and policy papers of major international actors and in the discourse of policymakers and businesspeople. This article collects and systematizes a “best practice” model and portrays it as a sector-specific description of a liberal market economy (LME). Also, the article provides a comparison of China's policies and institutions for GCRE with “best practice,” finding that China's approach coincides with the latter only imperfectly. Divergences of the Chinese approach to GCRE as compared with the model can be explained, at least partially, in that “best practice” pertains to LMEs, and given that China is arguably not an LME. Hence, the particularities of China's approach to GCRE should be understood not as obstacles to renewables but as examples of regulatory and institutional diversity.