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The Compressed Development of China's Photovoltaic Industry and the Rise of Suntech Power


  • MARUKAWA Tomoo


The global demand for photovoltaics (PVs), or solar cells, increased by 53 percent per annum during 2000 to 2010. Japanese PV manufacturers, which had been the leading force of the technological development of the industry since the 1970s, were in a good position to profit from this explosion of demand for PVs, but in 2010, about half of the global PV production was attributed to Chinese PV manufacturers which entered the industry only after 2002. This paper explains the reason for the dramatic rise of Chinese PV manufacturers and the decline of Japanese PV manufacturers. Through a detailed case study on Suntech Power, the largest PV producer since 2010, the paper identifies two points that have been critical for the rise of the Chinese PV industry: choice of technology and fundraising strategy. The paper also tries to shed new light on the understanding of the global value chain through a case study of the global PV value chain.

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  • MARUKAWA Tomoo, 2012. "The Compressed Development of China's Photovoltaic Industry and the Rise of Suntech Power," Discussion papers 12051, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:12051

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    1. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
    2. Kobayashi, Keiichiro & Inaba, Masaru, 2006. "Business cycle accounting for the Japanese economy," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 418-440, December.
    3. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent Reinhart, 2010. "After the fall," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 17-60.
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