Fostering a Renewable Energy Technology Industry: An International Comparison of Wind Industry Policy Support Mechanisms

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This article examines the importance of national and sub-national policies in supporting the development of successful global wind turbine manufacturing companies. We explore the motivations behind establishing a local wind power industry, and the paths that different countries have taken to develop indigenous large wind turbine manufacturing industries within their borders. This is done through a cross-country comparison of the policy support mechanisms that have been employed to directly and indirectly promote wind technology manufacturing in twelve countries. We find that in many instances there is a clear relationship between a manufacturer's success in its home country market and its eventual success in the global wind power market. Whether new wind turbine manufacturing entrants are able to succeed will likely depend in part in the utilization of their turbines in their own domestic market, which in turn will be influenced by the annual size and stability of that market. Consequently, policies that support a sizable, stable market for wind power, in conjunction with policies that specifically provide incentives for wind power technology to be manufactured locally, are most likely to result in the establishment of an internationally competitive wind industry.

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