The outlook for China’s clean energy innovation

Over the past two decades, China has not only become the world leader in manufacturing and deployment of wind, solar, batteries, and EVs, but China is also recognized as at the forefront of research and innovation in these fields. Other countries and regions have belatedly introduced policies that aim to re-shore or diversify some elements of the clean energy supply chain, including in research and innovation. Focusing just on China, this paper seeks to evaluate the potential for China to retain and build upon its innovation leadership in the fields it already dominates. Building on prior analysis of the country’s innovation institutions, the paper considers each of three factors that contributed to its success to date and whether these will continue hold advantages: strong policy support for clean energy deployment, speed in manufacturing scale-up based on integrated supply chains, and interlocking cooperation between private entrepreneurs, state-owned companies, and research institutions.   

By: Anders Hove