Regional renewable energy development in China: A multidimensional assessment

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Journal Article
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2020, 124
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Renewable energy (RE) is strategically important to achieve sustainability. Its development in China, however, is clearly imbalanced across regions. The uneven distribution of natural resources, financial resources and other factors across this country has brought serious challenges to the policymakers. It is thus important to give a comprehensive evaluation of China's regional RE development. To do so, this paper introduces a multidimensional approach and establishes a quantitative evaluation framework. Based on the existing literature, five dimensions of factors have been chosen for the framwork: economic foundation, institutions, technological development potential, energy security and environmental protection, and current status of the RE sector. A dynamic principal component analysis technique is applied to data from 29 provinces between 2008 and 2014. The results demonstrate large variations in RE development across provinces in China. More economically developed regions, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong, have maintained a higher ranking and have clear advantages in almost all dimensions. Policy implications and recommendations for more balanced development across China are drawn from the empirical results. This approach can also be extended to investigate similar issues in other countries.
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