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Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 243–283 | Cite as

Chinese Renewable Energy Technology Exports: The Role of Policy, Innovation and Markets

  • Felix Groba
  • Jing Cao
Article

Abstract

Chinese companies have become major technology producers, with the largest shares of their output exported. This paper examines the development of solar PV and wind energy technology component (WETC) exports from China and the competitive position of the country‘s renewable energy industry. We also describe the government’s renewable energy policy and its success in renewable electricity generation as well as increasing renewable energy innovation and foreign knowledge accumulation, which may drive export performance. We aim at empirically identifying determinants of Chinese solar PV and WETC exports. We estimate a gravity trade model using maximum likelihood estimation. Besides controlling for standard variables, we consider additional explanatory factors by accounting for market, policy and innovation effects steaming from both importing countries and China. We use a panel dataset representing bilateral trade flows of 43 developed and developing countries that imported solar PV and WETCs from China between 1996 and 2008. Empirical results indicate that high income countries, with large renewable energy markets and demand side policy support schemes, in terms of incentive tariffs, are increasingly importing Chinese solar PV components. We show that trade costs have a negative impact on exports of solar PV components but not WETC. Additionally, we find a positive impact of research and development appropriation growth, especially from provincial governments in China, but no evidence that bilateral knowledge transfer and indigenous innovation affect exports.

Keywords

China Gravity model Trade Innovation Policy Renewable energy technologies 

JEL Classification

C32 F14 O30 Q42 Q48 Q56 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementTsinghua University BeijingBeijingChina

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