Comprehensive assessment of flexibility of the wind power industry chain

Cun Bin Li, Hong Yi Chen, Jiang Zhu, Jian Zuo, George Zillante, Zhen Yu Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A number of energy development plans have been released in China in recent decades. These plans were aimed at promoting the optimization of the Chinese energy industry structure and achieving emission reduction targets by encouraging the development of clean energies such as wind energy. The sustainable development of the clean energy industry chain faces a number of challenges, one of which is the lack of flexibility. This has led to some serious issues associated with clean power industries such as wind power and it is timely to investigate the flexibility of the wind power industry chain to ensure its sustainable development. A hybrid research methodology has been employed in this study to identify most critical factors that affect the flexibility level of the wind power industry chain. These factors are related to seven types of flexibility, i.e. structural flexibility, production flexibility, operational flexibility, technological flexibility, development flexibility, construction flexibility, and policy flexibility. A flexibility assessment index system classified according to upstream, midstream and downstream industry supply chain has been established for the wind power industry chain and a Matter-element extension model was adopted to determine the level of flexibility. The flexibility deviation of the main factors that affect the flexibility of wind power was calculated using sensitivity analysis. The case study suggested that it is feasible to utilize this novel method to evaluate the flexibility of the wind power industry chain. The outcomes of the flexibility analysis provide useful information to assist the decision making process of both government and industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable Energy
StatePublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of research projects supported by the Humanities and Social Sciences Planning Fund of the Ministry of Education of China (No. 12YJAZH205 ), the Beijing Philosophy and Social Science Planning Project (No. 12JGB067 ), and the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province of China (No. G2012502065 ).


  • Assessment
  • China
  • Flexibility
  • Industry chain
  • Matter-element extension model
  • Wind power


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