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How China became a leader in solar PV: An innovation system analysis

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  • Huang, Ping
  • Negro, Simona O.
  • Hekkert, Marko P.
  • Bi, Kexin

Abstract

In this paper we focus on understanding the rapid rise of the Chinese PV industry and its profound impact on the global PV industry. We investigate how it is possible that a nation that is still focusing on catching up in terms of industry, innovation and technology has been able to bring manufacturers from leading industrialized nations to their knees. This paper applies the framework of the Technological Innovation System (TIS), and also takes the context into account, in terms of the Chinese national innovation system (NIS) and the global PV TIS. It concludes that the rise of the Chinese PV TIS can be explained by the interaction of three context factors (the change in Chinese institutions, technology transfer, and the large European market) and specific PV TIS dynamics. The study empirically shows the importance of extending the national TIS studies by including the influences of context factors.

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  • Huang, Ping & Negro, Simona O. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Bi, Kexin, 2016. "How China became a leader in solar PV: An innovation system analysis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 777-789.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:64:y:2016:i:c:p:777-789
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2016.06.061
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    4. Bi, Kexin & Huang, Ping & Wang, Xiangxiang, 2016. "Innovation performance and influencing factors of low-carbon technological innovation under the global value chain: A case of Chinese manufacturing industry," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 275-284.
    5. Sungho Son & Nam-Wook Cho, 2020. "Technology Fusion Characteristics in the Solar Photovoltaic Industry of South Korea: A Patent Network Analysis Using IPC Co-Occurrence," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(21), pages 1-19, October.
    6. Ghazinoory, Sepehr & Nasri, Shohreh & Ameri, Fatemeh & Montazer, Gholam Ali & Shayan, Ali, 2020. "Why do we need ‘Problem-oriented Innovation System (PIS)’ for solving macro-level societal problems?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
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    8. Binz, Christian & Gosens, Jorrit & Hansen, Teis & Hansen, Ulrich Elmer, 2017. "Toward Technology-Sensitive Catching-Up Policies: Insights from Renewable Energy in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 418-437.
    9. Kejia Yang & Johan Schot & Bernhard Truffer, 2020. "Shaping the Directionality of Sustainability Transitions: The Diverging Development Patterns of Solar PV in Two Chinese Provinces," SPRU Working Paper Series 2020-14, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    10. Shubbak, Mahmood H., 2019. "The technological system of production and innovation: The case of photovoltaic technology in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 993-1015.
    11. Wang, Ying & Zhang, Dayong & Ji, Qiang & Shi, Xunpeng, 2020. "Regional renewable energy development in China: A multidimensional assessment," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    12. Andersson, Johnn & Hellsmark, Hans & Sandén, Björn, 2021. "Photovoltaics in Sweden – Success or failure?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    13. De Oliveira, Luiz Gustavo Silva & Negro, Simona O., 2019. "Contextual structures and interaction dynamics in the Brazilian Biogas Innovation System," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 462-481.
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    15. Huang, Ping, 2019. "The verticality of policy mixes for sustainability transitions: A case study of solar water heating in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(10).
    16. Corwin, Samuel & Johnson, Timothy L., 2019. "The role of local governments in the development of China's solar photovoltaic industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 283-293.
    17. Susanto, Julius & Shahnia, Farhad & Ludwig, David, 2018. "A framework to technically evaluate integration of utility-scale photovoltaic plants to weak power distribution systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 231(C), pages 207-221.
    18. Behuria, Pritish, 2020. "The politics of late late development in renewable energy sectors: Dependency and contradictory tensions in India’s National Solar Mission," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    19. Pegels, Anna & Altenburg, Tilman, 2020. "Latecomer development in a “greening” world: Introduction to the Special Issue," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    20. Ding, H. & Zhou, D.Q. & Liu, G.Q. & Zhou, P., 2020. "Cost reduction or electricity penetration: Government R&D-induced PV development and future policy schemes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    21. Kejia Yang & Ralitsa Hiteva & Johan Schot, 2020. "Niche Acceleration driven by Expectation Dynamics among Niche and Regime Actors: China’s Wind and Solar Power Development," SPRU Working Paper Series 2020-03, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.

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