The role of solar energy and eco‐innovation in reducing environmental degradation in China: Evidence from QARDL approach

FengSheng Chien, Ching-Chi Hsu* (Corresponding Author), Zubaria Andlib, Muhammad I Shah, Tahseen Ajaz, Mesfin Genie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


In the past decade, researchers have shifted their interests to explore different ways to mitigate environmental degradation. In that context, the present study explores the role of solar energy and eco-innovation in reducing environmental degradation in China. The study utilized data for the period 1990–2018 and applied the latest available econometric technique, a quantile autoregressive distributed lag model, to determine the impacts of solar energy and eco-innovation on improving China's environmental quality. According to the empirical results, in the long term, solar energy is negatively and significantly associated with CO2 emissions at higher quantiles. Eco-innovation has proven to be the most important channel to mitigate CO2 emissions in China. Eco-innovation is exerting a negative and significant influence on CO2 emissions at all quantiles in the long term. In addition, the population size is causing CO2 emissions to surge significantly at lower quantiles. The empirical analysis reveals that per capita income (PI) is positively associated with CO2 emissions at all quantiles, but it is significant only at higher quantiles in China. We found evidence of unidirectional causality for eco-innovation to CO2 emissions and solar energy to CO2 emissions. However, for population and CO2 emissions, per capita income, and CO2 emissions, we found bidirectional causality. As indicated by our empirical results, solar energy and eco-innovation are the two most effective channels to control CO2 emissions in China. Therefore, policies based on the promotion of eco-innovation and the initiation of new solar energy projects can control emissions and improve environmental quality in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-571
Number of pages17
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Issue number2
Early online date25 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: There are no funders to report for this submission

Data Availability Statement

Data, associated metadata, and calculation tools are available from corresponding author Ching Chi Hsu


  • Eco-innovation
  • Income
  • Population
  • Solar energy


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of solar energy and eco‐innovation in reducing environmental degradation in China: Evidence from QARDL approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this