Green Innovation in China

China's Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Joanna I. Lewis

Columbia University Press

Green Innovation in China

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Pub Date: January 2015

ISBN: 9780231153317

304 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00£25.00

Pub Date: November 2012

ISBN: 9780231153300

304 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£75.00

Pub Date: November 2012

ISBN: 9780231526876

304 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£25.00

Green Innovation in China

China's Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Joanna I. Lewis

Columbia University Press

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 its 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 promoting the development of a home-grown industry. Just a decade ago, China maintained 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.

Following this shift reveals how China's political leaders have responded to domestic energy challenges and how they may confront encroaching climate change. The nation's escalation of its wind power use also demonstrates China's ability to leapfrog to cleaner energy technologies—an option 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 one day come to dominate global wind turbine sales, becoming a hub of technological innovation and a major instigator of low-carbon economic change.

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

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

As important as it is timely.... Required reading for anyone interested in China's energy or environmental politics.

Phillip Stalley, The China Quarterly

In this timely volume, Joanna Lewis integrates insights and research from over a decade of work relating to the rise of China's wind market, the largest in the world.

Edward A. Cunningham, Review of Policy Research

Informative... Green Innovation in China is timely reading for anyone interested in the evolution of the wind energy industry in China.

China Review International

[A] carefully researched, painstakingly referenced, and articulate account.

Journal of Chinese Political Science

An accurate and invaluable reference for scholars of development and innovation studies.

Pacific Affairs
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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2014 Harold & Margaret Sprout Award, Environmental Studies Section of the International Studies Association

About the Author

Joanna I. Lewis is an associate 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, nongovernmental, and international organizations and is a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report.