Solar Photovoltaic Market Adoption: Dilemma of Technological Exploitation vs Technological Exploration



Initial policy-induced market growth in Europe since the 1990s promoted not only mass-production industry, but also process innovation particularly in Asia. Currently, Asia accounts for about 85% of the global PV module manufacturing capacity, and this region has the highest PV market growth. A comparative review in four countries—China, Malaysia, Thailand, and India—is executed to identify relationships and emerging themes. One outstanding theme is policy shifting from governance by rules to governance by goals, and the increasing role of private sector in PV market. PV system installation trend also shifts from centralised grid-connected system to distributed system. Despite the positive technological leapfrogging, merely technological exploitation may be unable to secure sustainable futures. Thus, the innovation catch-up strategies play a crucial role and should include technological exploration. Detailed analysis and discussion based on Alexander Gerschenkron’s viewpoint are addressed, together with policy implications.


Photovoltaics Market adoption Technological catch-up 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Program in Sustainability Science–Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI), Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Division of Public PolicyHong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of Advanced Materials Science, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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