Technology development in South Africa: the case of wind and solar PV

Baker, Lucy (2016) Technology development in South Africa: the case of wind and solar PV. Working Paper. SPRU, Sussex.

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This paper examines the political economy of technology development in the context of South Africa’s emerging utility-scale, privately generated renewable energy sector. Focussing on the wind and solar PV industries, the paper explores how international dynamics in manufacturing, investment and trade that involve increasingly global industries, are interacting with territorial factors embedded within South Africa’s unique economic, social and political context. While South
Africa’s renewable energy industry has been celebrated internationally, there are tensions between
commercial priorities, and requirements for economic development including local content. The paper merges perspectives from global production networks and the literature on technological innovation in low and middle income countries in order to analyse the potential for the development of innovative capabilities in South Africa’s renewable energy sector. The paper provides rich
empirical content including challenges to the definition and implementation of local content requirements, as well as the involvement of key national and international actors.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Working Paper)
Keywords: Solar PV, Wind, Technological capabilities, South Africa, Local content
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Lucy Baker
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 12:16
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 12:16

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
The Rising Powers, Clean Development and the transition to low carbon energy systems in sub-Saharan AfricaG0966ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCILRF150253