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Analysis of complementarities: Framework and examples from the energy transition

Jochen Markard and Volker H. Hoffmann

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2016, vol. 111, issue C, 63-75

Abstract: Complementarities play a crucial role in socio-technical transitions as they accelerate technology development or decline. Missing complementary components in contrast may hamper the emergence of new technologies or negatively affect sector performance. In this paper, we introduce a conceptual framework to analyze complementarities and to understand their consequences for transitions. Our framework consists of four building blocks: i) different relationships, ii) different components, iii) different purposes and iv) complementarity dynamics. The latter two aspects go beyond existing concepts as they highlight the relative and dynamic nature of complementarities. We illustrate the applicability of the framework with examples from the ongoing energy transition. Finally, we discuss a series of complementarity bottlenecks and potential strategies by firms and policy makers of how to resolve these.

Keywords: Socio-technical transitions; Sectoral change; Complementary interaction; Technological innovation; Bottlenecks; Public policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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