The Catch-up of the Renewable Energy Sector in Developing Countries
(Natural Resource Security, Energy and Environmental Policy)
Thursday, November 12, 2015: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Board Room (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Panel Organizers: Tian Tang, Florida State University; Harvard University
Panel Chairs: Elizabeth Wilson, University of Minnesota
Discussants: Stuart Bretschneider, Syracuse University; Arizona State University and Gabriel Chan, University of Minnesota
As a global public good, the reduction of carbon emissions requires global responses. Unlike developed countries with financial strengths and first-mover advantages in climate-friendly technologies, developing countries are more vulnerable in climate change mitigation due to serious technological and financial barriers they are facing. To overcome these technological and financial barriers, a variety of policy instruments, including domestic incentives and international supports, have been used by governments in developing countries to drive private investment and induce technological change in the energy sector so as to catch up in the global climate change mitigation. Some of the policy tools directly support R&D activities so as to push innovation of in the energy sector (technology-push), while others induce technological change in the energy sector through creating a market for the emerging climate-friendly technologies (demand-pull).
In this panel, we have three papers examining how these technology-push and demand-pull policies promote the catch-up of the renewable energy sector in developing countries. The first paper is a case study of a key technology-pull policy in China, which analyzes how the national 863 program in China has driven the innovation in the power sector with a focus on the interaction between policy process and industrial innovation. The second paper looks at the catch-up by technology diffusion. It examines the determinants of private investment in renewable energy infrastructure in developing countries. Particularly, this paper will empirically test the impacts of international policy transfer and domestic policy incentives on driving private investment in the renewable energy sector, which creates demand for renewable energy technologies. The third paper attempts to depict a global picture of the technological knowledge production in solar PV sector, and quantitatively assesses whether there is a shift of technological leadership in the solar PV sector from developed countries to developing countries through a patent analysis.
This panel will be of interests to both energy technology practioners in developing countries and international policy-makers. The findings from our papers will provide evidence on whether there has been a catch-up in the emerging energy technologies and how this catch-up occurred in different developing countries. From a domestic policy-making perspective, the discussion in this panel will shed lights on the roles of technology-push and demand-pull policies in the innovation and diffusion of renewable energy technologies in a development context. From a global view, international collaboration and technology transfer will be a necessary part in the process of catch-up for developing countries. Our panel discussion also helps to better understand this global dynamics, and may be able to suggest how to overcome the technical and financial barriers through international collaboration.