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Investigating biofuels through network analysis

Ylenia Curci and Christian Alexander Mongeau Ospina

Energy Policy, 2016, vol. 97, issue C, 60-72

Abstract: Biofuel policies are motivated by a plethora of political concerns related to energy security, environmental damages, and support of the agricultural sector. In response to this, much scientific work has chiefly focussed on analysing the biofuel domain and on giving policy advice and recommendations. Although innovation has been acknowledged as one of the key factors in sustainable and cost-effective biofuel development, there is an urgent need to investigate technological trajectories in the biofuel sector by starting from consistent data and appropriate methodological tools. To do so, this work proposes a procedure to select patent data unequivocally related to the investigated sector, it uses co-occurrence of technological terms to compute patent similarity and highlights content and interdependencies of biofuels technological trajectories by revealing hidden topics from unstructured patent text fields. The analysis suggests that there is a breaking trend towards modern generation biofuels and that innovators seem to focus increasingly on the ability of alternative energy sources to adapt to the transport/industrial sector.

Keywords: Biofuel; Innovation; Patent data; Topic model; Text mining; Network analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C38 O31 Q16 Q42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:enepol:v:97:y:2016:i:c:p:60-72

DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.07.001

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