By leveraging its expanding domestic market and its skills in cost innovation, China has set out to develop several advanced energy technologies that it deems of key importance - both for its own development and because of the future export potential. Selected industries include wind energy, solar energy, third-generation nuclear power, high-speed rail and (semi-) electric transportation. Technology transfer requirements and a major push for more R&D and innovation are increasing the technological capabilities of Chinese firms - in some cases much faster than anticipated. Although the Chinese strategy is not without its challenges, market leaders in Europe, the United States and elsewhere are already feeling the effects of increasing global competition coming from China.
This CIEP energy paper analyses the role which China might play in several low-carbon industries in future and to what extent it is succeeding to increase its technological and innovative capabilities in these fields.