Fast-follower industrial dynamics: The case of Taiwan's emergent solar photovoltaic industry

  • Mathews J
  • Hu M
  • Wu C
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Abstract

The world is on the cusp of major transformations of energy systems, with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems providing one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels. Amongst the countries moving to take advantage of the new production possibilities thus being opened up is Taiwan, employing in this new sector its characteristic strategies of fast followership that it has perfected in earlier industrial shifts involving semiconductors, ICT products and flat panel displays. This paper provides an interim assessment of Taiwan's early entry strategies, involving a focus on mainstream crystalline silicon solar cells, as well as entry into emerging niche sectors such as thin-film second-generation cells and concentrated solar cells utilizing novel semiconductor materials. Taiwan firms’ fast-follower strategies are highlighted and assessed in light of the literature on industrial dynamics and catch-up processes generally. The paper makes a contribution to theory in building nine propositions regarding fast ...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Catch-up industrial dynamics
  • Fast-follower strategy
  • Renewable energy
  • Solar photovoltaic industry
  • Taiwan
  • Technology leverage

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Authors

  • John A. Mathews

  • Mei Chih Hu

  • Ching Yan Wu

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