Low-carbon innovation and technology transfer in latecomer countries: Insights from solar PV in the clean development mechanism

Adrian Lema, Rasmus Lema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the organizational arrangements for technology supply in solar photovoltaic projects in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). It shows that while lower middle-income countries typically import solar PV equipment into CDM projects, China, India and Thailand have begun to use new organizational arrangements for technology transfer which reflect the overall industry maturity in the solar PV sectors in these countries. This has great potential for long-term climate change mitigation efforts. However, the initiation of these new organizational arrangements often preceded the supply of technology into CDM projects. This raises important questions about the role of CDM in spearheading the development of technological capabilities required for sustainable development. The paper uses these findings to add to the literature about technology in CDM and to the wider policy debates over the future of the global climate regime. Technology transfer does not become less important as developing countries' capabilities mature, but the nature of technology transfer changes over time. This suggests a need to differentiate between countries at different levels of development. Lower middle-income countries may have greater needs for building technological capabilities whereas cooperative activities may be suitable for upper middle-income countries that already have capabilities to address climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-236
Number of pages14
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Climate change policy
  • India
  • Sustainable development
  • Technological learning
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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