Policymaking challenges in complex systems: The political and socio-technical dynamics of solar photovoltaic technology deployment in China

Xue Gao, Jiaha Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

An energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is recognized as a critical way to achieve greenhouse gas mitigation goals. However, renewable energy deployment must be scaled up at least six times faster than its current pace to keep global warming below hazardous levels. The purpose of this study is to analyze the deployment process of solar photovoltaic technologies in China by applying a dynamic framework that integrates the political and socio-technical systems. We found that the status of deployment (e.g., scale and pace) is jointly shaped by political factors, socio-technical factors, and their interactions. We also found that the interactions between the two systems vary at different deployment stages. This study investigates the interdependencies between the two systems in the deployment process systematically. The complex systems raise significant challenges for policymakers who aim to achieve large-scale solar PV deployment. This study contributes to the literature by illustrating how policy learning alongside accelerating deployment can serve as a critical mechanism for overcoming deployment challenges in the face of complex system interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101426
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume64
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Energy policy
  • Policy learning
  • Renewable energy deployment
  • Science and technology policy
  • Technology innovation and diffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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