Renewable Energy Competitiveness Of The G20 Nations

With the rapid expansion of industrialization and urbanization around the world, resource shortages (especially for fossil energy) have posed a major challenge for modern human society. For instance, over-exploitation of fossil fuels has led to climate change and environmental degradation, causing energy to be one of the most urgent and challenging public policy issues in the 21st century. The international community has made great efforts to make use of renewable energy as a strategic direction for energy transition.

This article focuses on the potential approaches to evaluating and promoting the international competitiveness of Group 20’s (the G20’s) renewable energy industry. By developing a revised Diamond Model in relation to Porter’s theory of industry competitive advantage, it provides an analytical framework for assessing the national renewable energy competitiveness of the G20 members, makes an in-depth investigation into the main driving factors for renewable energy industry, and presents a sound competitiveness assessment of the present and future of the G20’s renewable energy industries, such as solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass energy.


As a whole, there are significant differences in the development and utilization of renewable energy among nations, even though every country investigated has paid much attention to the development of domestic renewable energy industry. The ranking of G20’s renewable energy industrial competitiveness shows that China is found to be highly competitive. Specifically, it ranks top in factors of resources, capital, labor, market scale, policy incentive, the attractiveness of investment in related industries, and firms’ competitiveness, whereas technology and substitution costs are the restricted factors for China. The USA ranks second among the G20 countries in terms of industrial competitiveness of renewable energy. Its sound competitiveness benefits from advanced energy technology, abundant resources, huge market scale, and environmental pressure.

There is a large gap between the top two nations and Germany — the third in rank. Germany shows excellent performance in terms of support from related industries, advanced technology, policy mechanism, and, particularly, mechanism design, which serves as a driving force for related industries and technological progress. Apart from Germany, the UK and Denmark are two EU countries with strong competitiveness. These are followed by Canada, which performs well in terms of land area and natural endowments. As an emerging economy, Brazil also displays relatively high competitiveness in renewable energy. Australia ranks tenth in renewable energy competitiveness among G20 countries, but it serves as a nice example of how policy could affect renewable energy, in which the fairly good performance benefits from abundant renewable energy resources, well-developed technology and related industries, and quite high substitute costs.

By contrast, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Argentina, and Turkey have a relatively weak performance, indicating their disadvantages in the renewable energy industry. Saudi Arabia is a typical country facing the problem of the resource curse among G20 countries. The country’s substantial fossil fuel subsidies weaken the competitiveness of the renewable energy industry. Despite its natural endowment of solar energy, Saudi Arabia has achieved nothing remarkable in renewable energy competitiveness.

To help countries improve the industrial competitiveness of renewable energy, we come up with the following recommendations that are supposed to assist policymakers in the evaluation and choice of strategies for enhancing national renewable energy competitiveness: (1) Establishing strategic priority for renewable energy development; (2) Maintaining the stability and consistency of renewable energy policies; and (3) Improving electricity grid stability to accommodate ever-growing renewable energy.


These findings suggest that a country’s sustainable development of renewable energy depends largely on the formulation and implementation of a set of well-designed renewable energy policies by the government. Moreover, international experience and collaboration make sense. For example, if one country’s power grid has connections with neighboring countries, its renewable energy industry is likely to be competitive. Our research could better serve both policymakers and industrial end-users as a useful reference for international efforts to approach the sustainability of global energy use.

These findings are described in the article entitled Assessing national renewable energy competitiveness of the G20: A revised Porter’s Diamond Model, recently published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. This work was conducted by Kai Fang from Zhejiang University and Leiden University, Yunheng Zhou and Sujian Guo from Zhejiang University, Shuang Wang from Hang Zhou Dianzi University, and Ruike Ye from the Zhejiang University of Technology.



How Do Trace Elements Behave In Soil Organo-Mineral Assembles?

All soils harbor micro-aggregates. These micro-aggregates composed of smaller building units such as minerals or organic and biotic materials that […]

Brain Implant Successfully Boosts Memory For The First Time Ever

Finding a way to upgrade the human brain using synthetic components has long been a dream of scientists and researchers, […]

Geoscience Department Feature: University Of Texas At El Paso (UTEP)

Just over 100 years old, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a burgeoning national and international research […]

Ancient Cheese Found Preserved In Egyptian Tomb

Hidden by the sands of time in a cracked clay jar, a dried and chalky white substance wrapped in a […]

Military Time: How To Read And Convert A Military Time Chart

Military time is a system of timekeeping. While it is called military time in the United States, many organizations outside […]

How One Plant Is Making Water Safe To Drink

Water is the most important commodity to sustain life on earth, but because of climate change, rapid urbanization, and industrialization, […]

The Open Science Of Reproductive Biology: A New Open-Source Project For Sperm Analysis

Science does not exist, at least, not by itself. It is a word that we use to mention all of […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?