Technology Acquisition and Innovation in the Developing World: Wind Turbine Development in China and India

  • Joanna I. LewisEmail author


Although China and India rely on coal to fuel most of their electricity generation, both countries are also home to burgeoning wind power industries. India currently leads the developing world in manufacturing utility-scale wind turbines, and China is close behind. This study examines the technology development strategies that have been pursued by the companies Suzlon and Goldwind, India and China’s leading wind turbine manufacturers. While the institutional and other barriers present in large, developing countries such as China and India certainly challenge any simplistic notions of energy leapfrogging, an examination of wind turbine development in these countries has shown that substantial technical advances are possible in a relatively short time. While both Suzlon and Goldwind pursued similar licensing arrangements to acquire basic technical knowledge, Goldwind’s technology development model lacks Suzlon’s network of strategically positioned global subsidiaries that contribute to its base of industry knowledge and technical capacity. This examination of how two leading developing-country firms have acquired and assimilated advanced technologies provides crucial insights into facilitating international technology transfers, which will be an important component of any technological leapfrogging strategy to achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions in the developing world.


Energy leapfrogging Technology transfer Wind power industry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pew Center on Global Climate ChangeArlingtonUSA

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