Technology Evolution of China's Export of Renewable Energy Products

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Aug 19;15(8):1782. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081782.


With the increasing scarcity of traditional energy sources, global warming and environmental degradation, the increased use of renewable energy (RE) has become an effective path for sustainable development. Therefore, countries are paying more and more attention to the development of the RE industry, and the world trade in renewable energy products (REPs) is developing rapidly. First of all, this paper defines REPs, refines the scope of REPs, and proposes the "Equalization Technology Classification" method for the technology classification of REPs. Second, based on the United Nations Comtrade (COMTRADE) data, the export technology structure of China's REPs from 2007 to 2016 was empirically measured. Finally, a comparative study was conducted on the renewable energy product (REP) export technologies of major REP exporting countries (or regions) in the world. We found that (1) China's exports of REPs are mainly medium-high and medium technical complexity products, and that there are few high technical complexity products; (2) the export technology structure of China's REPs is deteriorating, and its overall technical level is in the middle of the global industrial value chain. The export technology of China's REPs has a gap compared with that of Denmark, Hong Kong China, and Singapore; (3) the technological competition of the world's REPs is becoming increasingly fierce. The growth rates of REP technologies in South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia's REPs are significantly higher than that of China.

Keywords: China; renewable energy products; technical complexity index.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Commerce / economics
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Denmark
  • Energy-Generating Resources
  • Hong Kong
  • Industry
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Renewable Energy*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Technology / economics
  • Technology / instrumentation*