The Erratic Path of the Low-Carbon Transition in China: Evolution of Solar Pv Policy

Zhang, S., P. Andrews-Speed and M. Ji (2014), ‘The Erratic Path of the Low-Carbon Transition in China: Evolution of Solar PV Policy’, Energy Policy, 67, 903-912.

36 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2016

See all articles by Sufang Zhang

Sufang Zhang

North China Electric Power University

Philip Andrews-Speed

Energy Studies Institute

Meiyun Ji

North China Electric Power University

Date Written: January 27, 2014

Abstract

The last twenty years have seen a growth of both solar PV manufacturing capacity and the deployment of solar PV in China, yet this growth has followed a very erratic path. This study applies the concept of socio-technical regime to identify factors which have made this path so erratic. We examine four stages in the development of China’s solar PV sector from the mid-1990s to 2013 and show that each is characterized by different combinations of policy program. These changes in government policy and in the resultant trajectory of the solar PV sector are attributed to three main sets of variables. The most important of these are events which shape the wider policy priorities of China’s government. Secondary factors include the government’s poor management of the policy interaction between the domestic solar PV manufacturing industry and the deployment of solar PV across the country, as well as policy learning within government. The general lesson from this study is that the development path of a single element of a national strategy for the low-carbon transition is likely to be erratic, subject as it is to a range of political and economic forces, and to experimentation and learning.

Keywords: China, solar PV, low carbon, transition

JEL Classification: O31, Q42, Q48

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Sufang and Andrews-Speed, Philip and Ji, Meiyun, The Erratic Path of the Low-Carbon Transition in China: Evolution of Solar Pv Policy (January 27, 2014). Zhang, S., P. Andrews-Speed and M. Ji (2014), ‘The Erratic Path of the Low-Carbon Transition in China: Evolution of Solar PV Policy’, Energy Policy, 67, 903-912., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2723307

Sufang Zhang

North China Electric Power University ( email )

School of Business Administration,NCEPU
No. 2 Beinong Road, Changqing District
Beijing, Beijing 102206
China

Philip Andrews-Speed (Contact Author)

Energy Studies Institute ( email )

29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Singapore
Malaysia

Meiyun Ji

North China Electric Power University ( email )

School of Business Administration,NCEPU
No. 2 Beinong Road, Changqing District
Beijing, Beijing 102206
China

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