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

By Lucy Baker

Abstract

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\ud Africa’s renewable energy industry has been celebrated internationally, there are tensions between\ud 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\ud empirical content including challenges to the definition and implementation of local content requirements, as well as the involvement of key national and international actors

Topics: H, T1
Publisher: SPRU
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:60637

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