Spatial distribution of China's renewable energy industry: Regional features and implications for a harmonious development future

Liang Dong, Hanwei Liang, Zhiqiu Gao, Xiao Luo, Jingzheng Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


China applies no efforts to promote the development of renewable energy (REE) so as to enhance China's energy security and address climate change. National top-down support scheme and the local renewable energy industry (REEI) development are the two important and intervened countermeasures for promoting REEI development in China. Considering China's vast regional disparity, the review on the spatial distribution of REEI in provincial level is critical and enlightening for future appropriate policy-making, while to date, there has been few related studies. With this circumstance, this paper made an empirical study on the distribution and cluster pattern of China's REEI based on the analysis on the industrial output value, the number and location of key companies/industrial bases, through on-site survey and updating statistical data. Results highlighted that in general, four REEI clusters were formed, included Bohai sea region, Yangtze River Delta, middle area, and western area. Supply chains were diversely distributed based on the regional resources allocation as well as economy development level and. In summary, REE resource supply and transformation facilities construction were the main REEI in western China, while R&D and high-tech equipment manufacture were clustered in eastern coastal regions. Based on the empirical study and Analytic Network Process (ANP) of the roles of stakeholders involved REEI of China, we further proposed various strategic measures and policy implications to better balance the REEI development in China. Our findings were critical for China's authority to design appropriate policies and take effective measures for promoting the harmonious development of REEI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1531
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ANP
  • China
  • Renewable energy industry
  • Spatial distribution
  • Supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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