Constructing China’s wind energy innovation system
The rapid rise of China as the largest wind energy market worldwide with several global leaders in turbine manufacturing received much attention from both scholarly and policy-analytical work. However, little attention has been given to the innovation activities of the Chinese wind industry. In our paper, we aim to address this gap, based on second-hand sources and over 50 personal interviews with wind energy-related experts. We argue that China’s wind industry has made great progress in terms of manufacturing and installing, but is confronted with various challenges and problems regarding the development of its indigenous innovation capabilities. Using innovation systems approaches as an analytical tool and focusing on institutions, actors, technology and their interaction in supporting innovation activities, we decompose the elements of China’s wind energy innovation system and their role in developing the domestic wind industry. Against this backdrop we identify and discuss challenges and obstacles in the development of an innovation-driven wind industry in China. The paper strongly argues that more attention should be paid to improve the coordination and cooperation among the various actors of the wind energy innovation system, to the build-up of a market-oriented education and training system as well as to intellectual property protection.
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