What hinder the further development of wind power in China?-A socio-technical barrier study

Zhen Yu Zhao*, Rui Dong Chang, Yu Long Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Promoting wind power is a long-term strategy of China to respond to both energy shortage and environmental pollution. Stimulated by various incentive policies, wind power generation in China has achieved tremendous growth, with the cumulative installed capacity being the largest worldwide for five consecutive years since 2010. However, obstructed by various barriers, wind power provides only 2.6% of national electricity generation in China, despite the strong support from the government. From a socio-technical transition perspective, this paper aims to systematically analyze the barriers hindering the further development of China's wind power. A wind power niche model is established to illustrate the complex interactions among actors in the wind power industry and electricity supply regime. Then, qualitative content analysis is adopted to process the related evidence and data, and four categories of socio-technical barriers are identified, including technology, governance, infrastructure and culture barriers. The study shows that various interrelated barriers form a blocking mechanism which prohibits the further development of wind power in China. Policy suggestions are proposed to eliminate the barriers and further empower the wind power niche. The lesson learned from China can offer useful references for other economies to promote wind power industries of their own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-476
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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