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Patenting Activity in the Solar Industry: How to Speed Up the Transition to a Decarbonized Economy
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Economics.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Presently fewer than one in ten patented inventions are green, while it is broadly assumed that a substantially larger fraction will be needed to address the climate challenge. Recent literature has addressed this topic by developing theoretical growth models with endogenous and directed technical change. An empirical application of this theoretical framework on the automotive industry has shown that firms tend to innovate more in electric cars when fuel prices rise, and also when they can benefit from spillovers in clean technology. Although transitioning to electric cars is important for a green future, today's electricity is mainly derived from non-renewable sources. This paper focuses on solar power, which has large potential to provide the economy with clean energy. We construct micro-level panel data with observations from nearly 200 countries over a 20-year period and investigate how energy prices, R&D-subsidies, path-dependence and financial markets influence innovative activities. The results provide robust evidence for the role of directed technical change in the transition to clean energy.

Abstract [es]

Actualmente menos de una en cada diez invenciones patentadas es "verde" cuando, sin embargo, es ampliamente aceptado que una mayor proporción de este tipo de patentes es necesaria para afrontar el reto climático. Recientemente la literatura económica ha incorporado el cambio climático mediante el desarrollo de modelos de crecimiento endógeno con cambio tecnológico dirigido. Una aplicación empírica de esta literatura en el sector automovilístico ha demostrado que las empresas innovan más en coches híbridos y eléctricos cuando los precios del petróleo aumentan y, también, cuando los productores se benefician de un mayor conocimiento en tecnologías limpias. Aunque la transición a los coches eléctricos representa un paso importante para un futuro verde, la mayoría de la electricidad es todavía generada a través de fuentes de energía no renovables. Esta investigación sin embargo se centra en el sector solar, que tiene el potencial de satisfacer todas nuestras necesidades energéticas con energía limpia. Mediante la construcción de un panel (micro) de datos longitudinales con cobertura de toda la industria solar durante un periodo de 20 años analizamos cómo los precios de la energía, los subsidios a I+D, la dependencia del camino, y los mercados financieros afectan a las actividades innovadoras. Los resultados de esta investigación proporcionan evidencia sólida a favor del cambio tecnológico dirigido en la transición a una economía limpia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Innovation, Solar Energy, Climate Change, Panel Data
Keyword [sv]
Innovation, Solenergi, Klimatförändring, Panel Data
Keyword [es]
Inovación, Energía Solar, Cambio Climático, Datos de Panel
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-209026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-209026DiVA: diva2:1109855
Subject / course
Economics of Innovation and Growth
Educational program
Degree of Master - Economics of Innovation and Growth
Presentation
2017-06-13, 443, Lindstedtsvägen 30, Stockholm, 10:30 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-07-11 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2017-07-11Bibliographically approved

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