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The Learning Process and Technological Change in Wind Power: Evidence from China's CDM Wind Projects

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  • Tian Tang
  • David Popp

Abstract

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a project-based carbon trade mechanism that subsidizes the users of climate-friendly technologies and encourages technology transfer. The CDM has provided financial support for a large share of Chinese wind projects since 2002. Using pooled cross-sectional data of 486 registered CDM wind projects in China from 2002 to 2009, we examine the determinants of technological change in wind power from a learning perspective. We estimate the effects of different channels of learning--learning through R&D in wind turbine manufacturing, learning from previous experience of installation, and learning through the network interaction between project developer and turbine manufacturer--on technological change, measured as reductions in projected costs or as increased capacity factor across CDM wind projects. While we find that a manufacturer's R&D and previous installation experience matter, interactions between wind turbine manufacturers and wind project developer lead to the largest cost reductions. Whereas existing literature suggests that wind power firms can learn from the experience of other wind farm developers, our results indicate that wind power firms mainly learn from their own experience and that knowledge spillovers mostly occur within certain partnerships between wind project developer and foreign turbine manufacturers in China's wind power industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Tian Tang & David Popp, 2014. "The Learning Process and Technological Change in Wind Power: Evidence from China's CDM Wind Projects," NBER Working Papers 19921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19921
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Armon Rezai & Frederick Ploeg, 2017. "Second-Best Renewable Subsidies to De-carbonize the Economy: Commitment and the Green Paradox," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(3), pages 409-434, March.
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:588-599 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Huenteler, Joern & Schmidt, Tobias S. & Ossenbrink, Jan & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2016. "Technology life-cycles in the energy sector — Technological characteristics and the role of deployment for innovation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 102-121.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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