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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 313; doi:10.3390/su8040313

The Impact of Countries’ Roles on the International Photovoltaic Trade Pattern: The Complex Networks Analysis

School of Humanities and Economic Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment, Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 100083, China
Open Lab of Talents Evaluation, Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 100083, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lin Lu, Jinqing Peng, Fu Xiao and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 26 November 2015 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 24 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1570 KB, uploaded 30 March 2016]   |  


The expansion of the international PV trade encourages governments to focus on their trade roles in this market, which has increasing impact on their future development of sustainable energy. Thus, an exploration of top traders and their influence on global PV trade pattern is essential as governments seek to develop strategies to improve their global PV market’s discourse power. This study introduces the complex network theory to examine top traders whose default would lead to the collapse of trade pattern and their impactful ways. Moreover, the potential structural reason for top traders’ influence on trade is explored via link prediction. We find that a group of European countries account for 80% of global importation and are the most influential traders and bridges; a group of Asian countries are among the top exporters with half of the global share; and European countries’ high influence is due to their large number of trade partners instead of their trade volume. Above all, a high number of trade partners is more important than trade volume for countries seeking to be top traders. Finally, we discuss these results given the recent promising development of international PV trade. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar energy; photovoltaic; international trade; complex network; link prediction solar energy; photovoltaic; international trade; complex network; link prediction

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Guan, Q.; An, H.; Hao, X.; Jia, X. The Impact of Countries’ Roles on the International Photovoltaic Trade Pattern: The Complex Networks Analysis. Sustainability 2016, 8, 313.

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