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The global green shift: Where it comes from, how it works, and where it’s heading

Jan Fagerberg

No 20230923, Working Papers on Innovation Studies from Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo

Abstract: This chapter analyses the ongoing global green shift from an evolutionary (Schumpeterian) perspective. Understanding such large techno-economic shifts, their causes, dynamics, and implications, has been a recurrent theme in evolutionary economics, from Schumpeter onwards. Following this perspective, what primarily characterizes large techno-economic shifts is that the radical changes they entail concern not just one but a whole range of industries and sectors, including ways of life, the organization of work, and infrastructure. The driving forces behind such shifts, according to Christopher Freeman, Carlota Perez and other contributors to the literature, are key inputs (or factors) characterized by rapidly declining costs, almost unlimited supply, and very broad applicability. This chapter argues that the global green shift, currently unfolding, is a techno-economic shift of a similar (or even larger) magnitude as the earlier shifts discussed by Freeman and Perez and others. The analysis shows that the green shift is driven by interaction of innovations in three interrelated areas, that is, renewable energy innovation; innovation in energy-using sectors; and energy infrastructure innovation, e.g., energy storage and distribution. A number of key innovations from these three areas are identified and their development and spread during the last hundred years or so explored. Particular attention is given to the various factors, including policy, that have influenced these processes. Finally, the lessons for policymaking supporting the global green shift are considered.

Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2023-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env, nep-evo, nep-ger, nep-hme, nep-ino and nep-tid
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