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Development of photovoltaic power generation in China: A transition perspective


  • Liu, Dawei
  • Shiroyama, Hideaki


Solar energy represents the largest source of renewable energy and is thus expected to play a crucial role in meeting our future energy demand. In China, solar energy utilization has made remarkable progress in recent years. In this paper, we reviewed the recent developments in the field of solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation from the perspective of transition theory, which was originally developed by technological innovation studies. The transition studies propounded three heuristic levels in a system, namely, socio-technical landscape, regime, and niche, and a transition of a system can only be fulfilled through the interactions among these three levels. With respect to the development of solar PV power generation in China, in this paper we initially examined specific situations within these three levels in the context of energy transition. In the subsequent sections, we paid attention to the response of government in promoting the solar PV development amid energy transition. Specifically, relevant policies and some niche level special programs were investigated. Then, we examined the phased achievements in the transition and offered solutions to some newly emerged problems. The final section concludes with some comments.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Dawei & Shiroyama, Hideaki, 2013. "Development of photovoltaic power generation in China: A transition perspective," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 782-792.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:25:y:2013:i:c:p:782-792
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.05.014

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Song, Dongdong & Jiao, Hongtao & Fan, Chien Te, 2015. "Overview of the photovoltaic technology status and perspective in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 848-856.
    2. Yuan, Jiahai & Sun, Shenghui & Zhang, Wenhua & Xiong, Minpeng, 2014. "The economy of distributed PV in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 939-949.
    3. Gottschamer, L. & Zhang, Q., 2016. "Interactions of factors impacting implementation and sustainability of renewable energy sourced electricity," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 164-174.
    4. Zhao, Zhen-Yu & Chang, Rui-Dong & Chen, Yu-Long, 2016. "What hinder the further development of wind power in China?—A socio-technical barrier study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 465-476.
    5. Ming, Zeng & Shaojie, Ouyang & Hui, Shi & Yujian, Ge, 2015. "Is the “Sun” still hot in China? The study of the present situation, problems and trends of the photovoltaic industry in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1224-1237.
    6. Zhang, Sufang & Andrews-Speed, Philip & Ji, Meiyun, 2014. "The erratic path of the low-carbon transition in China: Evolution of solar PV policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 903-912.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2147-:d:120475 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Chang, Rui-Dong & Zuo, Jian & Zhao, Zhen-Yu & Zillante, George & Gan, Xiao-Long & Soebarto, Veronica, 2017. "Evolving theories of sustainability and firms: History, future directions and implications for renewable energy research," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 48-56.
    9. Yu, Zhiqiang & Ma, Wenhui & Xie, Keqiang & Lv, Guoqiang & Chen, Zhengjie & Wu, Jijun & Yu, Jie, 2017. "Life cycle assessment of grid-connected power generation from metallurgical route multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic system in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P1), pages 68-81.
    10. Hou, Guofu & Sun, Honghang & Jiang, Ziying & Pan, Ziqiang & Wang, Yibo & Zhang, Xiaodan & Zhao, Ying & Yao, Qiang, 2016. "Life cycle assessment of grid-connected photovoltaic power generation from crystalline silicon solar modules in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 882-890.
    11. repec:eee:enepol:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:366-373 is not listed on IDEAS


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