Market dynamics, innovation, and transition in China's solar photovoltaic (PV) industry: A critical review

Hongyang Zou, Huibin Du, Jingzheng Ren, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Yongjie Zhang, Guozhu Mao

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


However, market diffusion and adoption in China is not ideal. This paper examines the blocking and inducement mechanisms of China's PV industry development from the perspective of technological innovation. By incorporating a Technological Innovation System (TIS) approach, the analysis performed here complements the previous literature, which has not grounded itself in a theoretical framework. In addition, to determine the current market dynamics, we closely examine market concentration trends as well as the vertical and horizontal integration of upstream and downstream actors (74.8% and 36.3%). The results of applying the TIS framework reveal that poor connectivity in networks, unaligned competitive entities and a lack of market supervision obstruct the development of China's PV industry. Therefore, we maintain that inducement mechanisms are required to instigate learning-by-doing capacities, which may help overcome blocking mechanisms and offset functional innovation deficiencies. In addition, policy implications are proposed for promoting the development of the PV industry in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Blocking/inducement mechanisms
  • Functional pattern
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV)
  • Technological Innovation System (TIS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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