Carbon emission reduction effects of renewable energy technological innovation in China: New insights into the intellectual property rights protection

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 9, September 2023
Cao D., Si L., Yang G., Zhang H.
Renewable energy technological innovation (RETI) is of great significance in reducing carbon emissions. A deeper understanding of the impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection on the carbon reduction effect of RETI can provide policymakers with more specific information. Using the dataset from 30 provinces in China during 2007–2018, we provide a detailed analysis of the moderating role of IPR protection in RETI's impact on carbon emissions. The results suggest that RETI has a significant carbon reduction effect, but this effect is not substantial in hydropower technological innovation. Moreover, we find that IPR protection moderates the impact of RETI on carbon emissions; increased levels of IPR protection can enhance RETI's carbon mitigation effect. Specifically, this positive moderating effect is only evidenced in the high energy self-sufficiency ratio and eastern regions, and it diminishes as carbon emissions increase. However, we do not find any evidence that IPR protection moderates the impact of energy storage technological innovation on carbon emissions.