Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2012 (Revised February 2014)

Low-Carbon, Indigenous Innovation in China

by Richard H.K. Vietor


For the past seven years or so, the Chinese government has been powering ahead with industrial policies to promote low-carbon energy technologies—wind, solar, electric batteries and vehicles, nuclear power, and even carbon capture and sequestration. In 2009, the government focused broadly on "indigenous innovation," a policy to adopt and then develop technology in dozens of high-tech sectors. As with the earlier focus on renewables, explicit governmental policies and subsidies discriminate against foreign products and foreign companies invested in China. The net effects of these initiatives leave low-carbon energy industries in the United States in the dust.

Keywords: energy; renewables; carbon; environment; industrial policy; competitiveness; Environmental Sustainability; Policy; Renewable Energy; Competition; Globalized Markets and Industries; Energy Industry; China;


Vietor, Richard H.K. "Low-Carbon, Indigenous Innovation in China." Harvard Business School Case 712-061, June 2012. (Revised February 2014.)