Books  Sustainable Development  Energy 

Green Innovation in China: China’s Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Series: Contemporary Asia in the World

By: Joanna I Lewis (Author)

296 pages, 32 figures

Columbia University Press

Paperback | Jan 2015 | #214810 | ISBN-13: 9780231153317
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £17.50 $21/€20 approx
Hardback | Nov 2012 | #199808 | ISBN-13: 9780231153300
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £27.50 $34/€31 approx

About this book

As the greatest coal producing and consuming nation in the world, China would seem an unlikely haven for wind power. Yet the country now boasts a world-class industry that promises to make low-carbon technology more affordable and available to all. Conducting an empirical study of China's remarkable transition and the possibility of replicating their model elsewhere, Joanna I. Lewis adds greater depth to a theoretical understanding of China's technological innovation systems and the country's current and future role in a globalized economy.

Lewis focuses on China's specific methods of international technology transfer, its forms of international cooperation and competition, and its implementation of effective policies that promoted the development of a home-grown industry. Just a decade ago, China claimed only a handful of operating wind turbines – all imported from Europe and the United States. Today, the country is the largest wind power market in the world, with turbines made almost exclusively in its own factories. Studying this shift reveals how China's political leaders have responded to domestic energy challenges and how they may confront climate change. The nation's ability to escalate its use of wind power also demonstrates China's ability to leapfrog to cleaner energy technologies – a path equally viable for other developing countries hoping to bypass gradual industrialization and the "technological lock-in" of hydrocarbon-intensive energy infrastructure. Though setbacks are possible, China could come to dominate global wind turbine sales, becoming a hub of technological innovation and a major instigator of low-carbon economic change.

"Because there is no more important issue to future generations than climate change and no more important country in the effort to control greenhouse gas emissions than China, Joanna Lewis's book is particularly timely and welcome. Thoroughly researched and well-written, this informative volume goes a long way toward helping us understand the critical role China plays in both the causes for and solutions to the global climate change challenge."
– Orville Schell, director, Center on U.S.–China Relations, Asia Society

"Green Innovation in China is a compelling exploration of how China is transforming itself into a clean energy powerhouse. By taking us deep into the competitive world of wind power – from research and development to the cutthroat global marketplace – Joanna Lewis provides fascinating insights into China's broader clean tech innovation strategy. This is a book that should be on the desk or nightstand of anyone who wants to understand where China's leaders are taking their country and how they plan to get there."
– Elizabeth Economy, C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and director of Asia studies, Council on Foreign Relations

"This book provides an excellent overview of China's green innovation system, relating China's energy technology innovations to the country's domestic policy interventions and international collaborations. China's green innovation process is very complicated. Without a doubt, this book will help readers within and outside of China better grasp the context and nature of the issue. The text also describes well the lessons other developing countries can draw from China's green innovation exercise."
– Zhang Xiliang, professor and executive director, Institute of Energy, Environment, and Economy, Tsinghua University

"Lewis's work is a lucid look at the development of a key green-tech sector, and the larger lessons it holds for China's innovative capacity."
Asian Review of Books

"essential reading for everyone interested in the Chinese wind energy industry, providing a compelling and well-researched overview, including the industry's history and prospects for its future."
– Johan Nordensvärd, International Affairs

"This is a terrific, wonderfully detailed book. A fascinating account of the development of the wind industry in China."
– Kelly Sims Gallagher, associate professor of energy and environmental policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University


List of Figures
List of Tables
Chronology of Wind Power Development in China

1. Green Innovation in China
2. China’s Energy and Climate Challenge
3. China in the Global Wind Power Innovation System
4. The Role of Foreign Technology in China’s Wind Power Industry Development
5. Goldwind and the Emergence of the Chinese Wind Industry
6. Wind Energy Leapfrogging in Emerging Economies
7. Engaging China on Clean Energy Cooperation


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Joanna I. Lewis is an assistant professor of science, technology, and international affairs at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her research focuses on energy and environmental issues in China, including renewable energy industry development and climate change policy. She has worked for numerous governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations and is a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report.

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