Examining the spatial distribution of the renewable energy industries (REIs) at the county-level and their driving factors is critical for appropriate future policy-making. However, there have been very few studies on this issue to date in China. From a geographical perspective, this study uses the data of the total number and generating capacity of renewable energy plants at the county-level to investigate the spatial distribution patterns of China's REIs, and analyzes their driving factors. The results show that the past decade has witnessed unprecedented development in renewable energy technologies in China, and REIs are constantly springing up in the southwestern and northwestern China, exhibiting a “double-core” spatial pattern. Furthermore, this distribution pattern significantly exhibits resource-dependent and policy-led characteristics, namely, environmental conditions, the abundance of renewable resources and supportive policies are the crucial factors in the clustering of the REIs in China. In addition, as a powerful stimulus to the development of renewable energy economy, the effect of governmental policy significantly varies among different REIs, and a spatial mismatch between the abundance of renewable resources and local governmental development policies is identified, especially for the wind and solar power industries.
- Regional variations
- Renewable energy industries
- Spatial distribution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment