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Authors: Lefevre-Marton, Nicolas
Advisors: Socolow, Robert H.
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Keywords: Catching up
Climate friendly energy technologies
technology frontier
Wind power
Wind turbines
Subjects: Public policy
Alternative energy
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This thesis argues that Chinese firms can catch up with the technological frontier in the scope of new climate friendly energy technologies and provides a detailed study of the case of wind power. Chapter 2 assesses the nature and extent of wind turbine technology catch-up. Firstly, it uses various wind turbine technology indicators to detail the convergence of trends of leading Chinese firms with firms at the technological frontier. Secondly, the chapter assesses the evolution of technological capabilities among leading Chinese turbine manufacturers. It shows that Chinese firms were progressively introducing turbine technologies similar to those produced by frontier firms and had rapidly improved their capabilities, allowing them to increasingly rely on independent technology development efforts. Chapter 3 describes how the Chinese wind power technology development system, characterized by the presence of a powerful and proactive government, provided the necessary conditions for Chinese wind turbine manufacturers to make rapid technological progress. In particular, it highlights the policies introduced by the government to create a large and rapidly growing wind power market in China and the steps taken by the government to ensure that Chinese firms entered and progressively dominated the domestic turbine manufacturing market. The competition which ensued among domestic turbine manufacturers was arguably the main driver of technology development efforts. The most significant challenge to the continued progress of the industry was whether the Chinese system could transition from a model of technology development based on technology transfer to one based on its own innovation efforts. Chapter 4 shows that due to limited government support over the years in both Europe and the United States, the wind power technology frontier has evolved relatively slowly, making it easier for Chinese firms to catch up. Firstly, using patenting rates as indicators of knowledge development, the chapter shows a strong correlation between changes in government wind power support policies and patenting activity. Secondly, using both technology penetration rates and patenting trends, the chapter shows that the evolution of the wind power frontier was slow compared to most other technology sectors globally.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

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