This paper uses a value chain lens to examine the prospects for competition and cooperation between Europe and China in the global wind power sector. Drawing on insights from fieldwork conducted in 2010 combined with secondary industry data, we find that Chinese and European industries are developing distinct models of industrialtechnological organisation.
The usual headlines emphasising Sino-European competition or conflict fail to capture the complexity of current reality. While competition among lead firms is increasing, there are also considerable prospects for increased collaboration between firms across the value chains. China, Europe and the world can benefit from such collaboration to drive down the costs of the technology, improve quality, enhance innovation capabilities and make wind power a more credible energy option for the world. Policy initiatives in and between China and Europe have a big role to play in securing mutually beneficial relationships for the future.