346 pages | 28 B/W Illus.
Whilst China’s growing economy is widely regarded as being responsible for severe environmental degradation and a high reliance on energy from fossil fuels, China is emerging as a potential leader in new green energy technologies. Outlining the extraordinary growth in China’s wind power capacity since 2005, this book explores the deliberate creation of a whole industry and the strategy of transitioning the power sector to renewable energy by accelerated experimentation and through literally pushing the emerging wind power sector to its limits. Investigating how wind power may not always be considered as sustainable in a wider Chinese developmental context, the book traces the struggle China has had in getting this high technology sector to qualify as truly Chinese scientific development, whilst often being opaquely at the mercy of foreign expertise, technology, and certification. The book furthermore exposes the surprising nuances, dynamics, and potency of unexpected players in Chinese wind power marketisation. Complex interplays are revealed between wind turbine control systems, algorithms in critical software technology, relationships between suppliers, wind farm developers, financiers, the electrical grid itself, the coal lobby, the broader Chinese state, and much more. The book has important implications far beyond wind power and contemporary China studies, highlighting the much wider story of China’s fragmented and experimental style of innovating, upgrading, and greening.
PART I: Setting the context for the controversy study of Chinese ‘greening’ through accelerated wind power development
Prologue: The algorithmic universe of wind power – mapping controversies over China’s ‘wind power miracle’
Chapter One: Upgrading in software algorithms at the core of Chinese wind power development
Chapter Two: Introducing a unique analytical strategy – the Anthropology of Markets
Chapter Three: Setting the scene – empirical background to prise open the blackbox of Chinese wind power development
PART II: Controversy study - mapping five sites of controversy over Chinese wind power development
Chapter Four: Qualification struggle in Chinese wind power – marketisation by advancing towards the brink of collapse?
Chapter Five: Controversy over access to the grid – making space for wind in the Chinese Kingdom of Coal
Chapter Six: Controversy over access to money in China’s spider’s web – diving into the ‘system problem’ of Chinese wind power development
Chapter Seven: Controversy over access to intellectual property rights for software algorithms
Chapter Eight: Controversy over access to standards and certificates
PART III: Conclusions and broader perspectives
Chapter Nine: Conclusions and reflections on Chinese marketisation of wind power development
Chapter Ten: Broadening out perspectives and looking ahead