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The Knowledge Mobility of Renewable Energy Technology

P. G. J. Persoon, R. N. A. Bekkers and F. Alkemade

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Abstract: In the race to achieve climate goals, many governments and organizations are encouraging the local development of Renewable Energy Technology (RET). The spatial innovation dynamics of the development of a technology partly depends on the characteristics of the knowledge base on which this technology builds, in particular the analyticity and cumulativeness of knowledge. Theoretically, greater analyticity and lesser cumulativeness are positively associated with more widespread development. In this study, we first empirically evaluate these relations for general technology and then systematically determine the knowledge base characteristics for a set of 14 different RETs. We find that, while several RETs (photovoltaics, fuel-cells, energy storage) have a highly analytic knowledge base and develop more widespread, there are also important RETs (wind turbines, solar thermal, geothermal and hydro energy) for which the knowledge base is less analytic and which develop less widespread. Likewise, the technological cumulativeness tends to be lower for the former than for the latter group. This calls for regional and country-level policies to be specific for different RETs, taking for a given RET into account both the type of knowledge it builds on as well as the local presence of this knowledge.

Date: 2021-06, Revised 2021-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-reg and nep-tid
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