Factors influencing the technology upgrading and catch-up of Chinese wind turbine manufacturers: Technology acquisition mechanisms and government policies

Yueming Qiu, Leonard Ortolano, Yi David Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


This paper uses firm level data for the Chinese wind turbine manufacturing industry from 1998 to 2009 to quantify the effects of technology acquisition mechanisms - purchasing production licenses from foreign manufacturers, joint design with foreign design firms, joint-ventures and domestic R&D - on wind turbine manufacturers' technology levels (as measured by turbine size, in megawatts). It also examines the impacts of government policies on manufacturer technology levels. Technology upgrading (measured by increase of turbine size) and catch-up (measured by decrease in the distance to the world technology frontier in terms of turbine size) are used to measure advances in technology level. Results from econometric modeling studies indicate that firms' technology acquisition mechanisms and degree of business diversification are statistically significant factors in influencing technology upgrading. Similar results were found for the catch-up variable (i.e., distance to the world technology frontier). The influence of government policies is significant for technology upgrading but not catch-up. These and other modeling results are shown to have implications for both policymakers and wind turbine manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Policy
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013



  • Chinese wind turbine manufacturer
  • Government policies
  • Technology acquisition mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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