Zhang, S., P. Andrews-Speed and X.Zhao (2013), “Political and institutional analysis of the successes and failures of China’s wind power policy”, Energy Policy, 56, 331-340.
This paper identifies and explains how political and institutional factors have determined the relative successes and failures of China’s wind power policy over the period 2005–2011. It finds that China has made significant progress in pursuing its wind power policy in terms of cumulative installed capacity, wind turbine manufacturing industry development and wind turbine cost, and argues that these achievements can be attributed to the political motives and institutional arrangements of the Chinese government as well as to institutional changes. On the other hand, the paper finds that there are two prominent policy failures, namely the low proportion of grid-connected capacity and the rising trend of wind turbine incidents. These have undermined the efficiency and effectiveness of China’s wind power program. The paper holds that the institutional sources for the first policy failure lies in the preference for setting wind power development targets in terms of installed capacity rather than generation and in coordination problems while the second policy failure lies in the lack of state technical codes for wind power integration and the unfair competition from the large state-owned power companies. The paper contributes to the academic literature on the political and institutional roles in China’s wind power policy.