The political economy of low-carbon investments: insights from the wind and solar power sectors in India

The primary motivation behind this research is the need to accelerate the supply of renewable energy because of the important role that it plays in mitigating climate change and in fostering sustainable development. Understanding past drivers for low-carbon investment can help us identify those for the future, and what could accelerate such investment. Investment in renewable energy can be modelled as a problem of technical asset allocation or optimisation at the firm or sectoral level, but is not entirely explained by this approach – the context in which actors are involved, their motivations and the wider systems in which they operate must also be taken into account. The interactions between actors may sometimes accelerate investment and sometimes prevent it; however, understanding the dynamics of these processes is crucial if we are to shape them. This study, which focuses on the wind and solar power sectors in India and China, aims to find and compare drivers for investment in renewable energy.