The utilization of renewable energy (RE) is a meaningful way to realize the low-carbon transformation of energy systems. However, due to the imbalance of resources, economy, technology, society, and environment among regions, the coordinated development of regional RE may be restricted by different factors, which brings challenges to the formulation of relevant development policies. This paper focuses on the development of RE in 30 provinces in China from 2011 to 2019. It uses the AHP-EM integrated evaluation model to evaluate the constructed multilayer indicator system for the comprehensive development of RE. The characteristics of the coupling and coordination relationship between indicators are explored, and the critical driving factors affecting the coordinated development and change in RE in different regions are quantitatively identified through the logarithmic mean Divisia index method. The results show that the comprehensive development level of RE in each province is relatively low, and the relatively high-level areas gradually move eastward in terms of spatial distribution. The degree of coupling and coordination between indicators is still in a low-level coupling stage, and RE in each region has not achieved coordinated development. In addition, the comprehensive development of regional RE is consistent with the spatial evolution characteristics of the degree of coordination among indicators, emphasizing the importance of coordinated development among indicators for RE. These findings will provide broader insights for improving the comprehensive development level of regional RE and formulating differentiated policies.
The development of renewable energy (RE) is closely related to the issue of carbon emission reduction, which has attracted widespread attention. From a long-term perspective, the development of RE has become a key measure to address global climate change and achieve carbon emission reduction [1,2], as well as an essential means to promote the low-carbon development of the energy structure . On a global scale, RE (wind energy, solar energy) has become a necessary force to replace fossil energy due to its nonpolluting and environmentally friendly nature, and excellent resource potential [4,5]. It is estimated that RE in the EU and the US has received sufficient attention as advocates of a global low-carbon energy system. It is manifested in the rapid growth of wind power and solar installed capacity, increased investment in the RE industry [6–8], and an increase in the proportion of RE power generation . However, with the scale development and widespread use of RE, issues such as social acceptance [10–12], infrastructure construction [13,14], and grid transmission technology [15,16] related to the RE industry also follow.
Conclusions and Policy Implications
For the low-carbon transformation of China’s current energy system, RE has become a necessary force to replace fossil energy with its advantages of being nonpolluting and environmentally friendly. Based on the panel data of 30 provinces in China from 2011 to 2019, this study constructed a multidimensional comprehensive development evaluation system for RE. It calculated the comprehensive degree of RE development in each region. This paper explores the coupling and coordination relationship between various dimensions. It quantitatively identifies the dominant factors that affect the changes in the coupling and coordination relationship of the comprehensive development of RE in different regions. This provides directions for further improving the development level of RE in various regions. The specific conclusions are as follows:
The overall development of China’s RE is at a relatively low level (0.3558), and the development of the RE industry is still in its infancy. The spatial distribution of provinces with a high level of comprehensive regional RE development shifted to the east. Moreover, the development potential difference between regions is still apparent. As of 2019, the leading provinces in the comprehensive development of RE (>0.40) include Qinghai, Beijing, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Shanghai and play the role of leaders in the comprehensive development of RE. These regions benefited from resource endowment and social development, with an average contribution of 2.20% and 1.50%, respectively. At the same time, limited by environmental sustainability, the average contribution is −0.47%. The number of provinces with relatively backward comprehensive RE development (<0.30) decreased, including only Heilongjiang, Hunan, Liaoning, Sichuan, and Xinjiang. Among them, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Sichuan are mainly limited by economic benefits (−2.38%; −2.92%; and −5.51%), Hunan is mainly limited by environmental sustainability (−0.62%), and Xinjiang is mainly limited by technical support (−31.52%).