Energy leapfrogging in China and India
28th March, 2008
Two firms in the wind power sector illustrate how companies in the developing world can take advantage of increasing access to technological know-how, while staying within the bounds of intellectual property law, says Joanna Lewis.
China and India’s energy development pathways are a frequent focus of international attention. In the climate change arena, the two countries’ current and future energy growth trajectories raise concerns about increasing greenhouse-gas emissions. China recently surpassed the United States as the largest national emitter of greenhouse gases, and India will soon surpass Russia to become the fourth-largest emitter after the European Union. China and India use coal to fuel most of their electricity generation, and both countries have plans to expand their coal power capacity considerably in the coming decade. For these reasons, China and India are perhaps two of the least likely places one might expect to find a burgeoning wind power industry.
While there are many potential benefits to local wind manufacturing, there are also significant barriers to entry into an industry that contains companies which have been manufacturing wind turbines for more than 20 years. In developing countries, limited indigenous technical capacity and quality control makes entry even more difficult. International technology transfers can be a solution, although leading companies in this industry are unlikely to license...
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