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The Role of Public Policies for Energy Technology Development: Their Innovation Effects and Interaction
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2031-6710
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to analyze the role of public policies for technological development (i.e., innovation) in the renewable energy sector. The thesis consists of an introductory part and three self-contained papers.

Paper I investigates the innovation effects of renewable energy support policies and their interaction in the empirical context of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. This is achieved by using data on solar PV patent counts and policies targeting solar PV development across 13 countries over the time period 1978-2008. These policies include public R&D support to solar PV as well as two different types of production support schemes: feed-in tariffs (FIT) and renewable energy certificates (REC). The data are applied to a negative binomial model and the results indicate that: (a) both FIT and REC schemes stimulate solar PV patenting activity although the impact of the former is of a larger magnitude; (b) public R&D has been more influential than the production support schemes in inducing solar PV innovation; and (c) policy interaction exists in that the innovation effect of public R&D support is greater at the margin if it is accompanied by the use of FIT schemes for solar PV.

Paper II analyzes the role of pilot and demonstration plants (PDPs) in technological development. As surprisingly little explicit attention has been devoted to this issue in prior research, the existing literature is synthesized and categorized, and an agenda is proposed for future work. Scholarly work on PDPs can be found across several research fields and the discussion in the paper is organized around three research streams: engineering and natural science research, technology and innovation management, and innovation systems. Based on searches in key bibliographic databases more than 200 publications were identified and reviewed. According to the literature synthesis, the plants bridge basic knowledge generation and technological breakthroughs on the one hand (promoted by public R&D support), and exploitation of new technology for commercial use on the other (promoted by production support schemes). Still, more research on the subject is needed. For instance, the role of PDPs for inducing innovation needs to be assessed in a rigorous empirical setting as this issue has only been researched in conceptual studies or retrospective case studies based entirely on qualitative or descriptive approaches.

Paper III provides an econometric analysis of the innovation impacts of publicly funded PDP activities in the case of advanced biofuel technology. This is achieved by using data on biofuel patent counts and PDPs across eight European countries over the time period 1980-2011. It is acknowledged that PDPs have two main objectives: testing and optimization of technology (experimental PDPs), and diffusion and commercialization of technology (exemplary PDPs). The data are applied to a negative binomial model and indicate that: (a) PDP activities are overall positively correlated with biofuel patents; (b) experimental PDPs are more innovation-promoting than exemplary PDPs; and (c) experimental PDP activities encourage innovation also indirectly through knowledge spillovers.

The overall conclusion is that environmental policy encourages renewable energy innovation. Public R&D support as well as production support schemes are important for inducing innovation, and there are interactions between these policy types which must be acknowledged when designing public support. As public R&D support is more innovation-promoting when accompanied by the use of certain production support schemes, these policies should be employed simultaneously. Moreover, publicly funded PDP activities foster innovation and thus, their role must also be acknowledged when designing public policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå tekniska universitet, 2015.
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Keyword [en]
Innovation, Innovation economics, Patents, Energy policy, Pilot and demonstration plants, Public policy, Economics of technological change
Keyword [sv]
Innovation, teknisk utveckling, inducerad teknisk utveckling, miljöpolitiska styrmedel, miljöekonomi, patent
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26731Local ID: fd1b6ff1-9ed3-4f16-8fe7-ef9b381fbf3cISBN: 978-91-7583-252-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-253-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-26731DiVA: diva2:999901
Presentation
2015-04-17, A109, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Public Policies and Solar PV Innovation: An Empirical Study Based on Patent Data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Public Policies and Solar PV Innovation: An Empirical Study Based on Patent Data
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this paper is to examine the innovation impacts of different renewable energy support policies and their interaction in the empirical context of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. This is achieved using data on patent applications for 13 countries over the time period 1978-2008. Three policies are included in the analysis: public R&D support to solar PV, fixed feed-in tariffs (FIT), and renewable energy certificate (REC) schemes. The results are overall robust to alternative model specifications, and indicate that: (a) both FIT schemes and REC schemes induce more solar PV patenting activity even though the impact of the former policy appears to be more profound; (b) (lagged) public R&D support has an important impact on solar PV innovation; and (c) policy interaction exists in that the impact of public R&D support on innovation is greater at the margin if it is accompanied by the use of FIT schemes for solar PV. A corresponding interaction effect does not emerge in the case of public R&D and the use of REC schemes, possibly due to the relatively strong technology selection pressure under the latter policy.

National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics; Renewable energy (AERI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-34386 (URN)89088361-4df8-4f17-a6a5-b0b010f69bd9 (Local ID)89088361-4df8-4f17-a6a5-b0b010f69bd9 (Archive number)89088361-4df8-4f17-a6a5-b0b010f69bd9 (OAI)
Conference
IAEE International Conference : Energy & the Economy 15/06/2014 - 18/06/2014
Note

Godkänd; 2014; 20140618 (kribac)

Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved
2. The Role of Pilot and Demonstration Plants in Technological Development: Synthesis and Directions for Future Research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Role of Pilot and Demonstration Plants in Technological Development: Synthesis and Directions for Future Research
Show others...
2015 (English)In: Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, ISSN 0953-7325, E-ISSN 1465-3990, Vol. 27, no 1, 1-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pilot and demonstration plants (PDPs) play important roles in technological development. They represent bridges between basic knowledge generation and technological breakthroughs on the one hand, and industrial application and commercial adoption on the other. The objectives of this article are to synthesise and categorise existing research on PDPs, as well as to suggest an agenda for future research. We review the PDP phenomena in three literature streams: engineering and natural science research, technology and innovation management, and innovation systems. The analysis highlights clear differences in e.g. conceptions of system boundaries and what the literature streams seeks to accomplish, but also similarities such as the key ideas of using PDPs for technology scale-up and uncertainty reduction.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Economics
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Economics; Renewable energy (AERI); Effective innovation and organisation (AERI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-14052 (URN)10.1080/09537325.2014.943715 (DOI)d5d7df8d-e73a-4417-8f01-6d793ab10f57 (Local ID)d5d7df8d-e73a-4417-8f01-6d793ab10f57 (Archive number)d5d7df8d-e73a-4417-8f01-6d793ab10f57 (OAI)
Note

Validerad; 2014; Nivå 2; 20140805 (johfri)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved
3. What are the Innovation Effects of Pilot and Demonstration Plants?: The Case of Advanced Biofuels in the Transport Sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What are the Innovation Effects of Pilot and Demonstration Plants?: The Case of Advanced Biofuels in the Transport Sector
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Pilot and demonstration plants (PDPs) may be important for fostering technological innovation. They constitute a bridge between basic knowledge generation and technological breakthroughs on the one hand, and industrial application and commercial adoption of new technology on the other. The aim of this paper is to examine the innovation impacts of publicly funded PDP activities in the empirical context of production technology for advanced biofuels. The study is conducted by employing patent data for eight European countries over the time period 1980-2011, and it is acknowledged that PDPs have two main objectives: testing and optimization of technology (experimental PDPs), and diffusion and commercialization of technology (exemplary PDPs). The results are overall robust to alternative model specifications, and indicate that: (a) PDP activities are overall positively correlated with biofuel patenting activity; (b) both experimental and exemplary PDPs encourage biofuel innovation although the impact of the former is more profound; and (c) development activities in experimental PDPs encourage innovation also indirectly through knowledge spillovers across countries.

Keyword
Business / Economics - Economics, Innovation policy, Pilot and demonstration plants, Economics of technological change, Patents, Ekonomi - Nationalekonomi
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Renewable energy (AERI); Effective innovation and organisation (AERI); Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-34406 (URN)89868018-d5a4-49f7-ad4f-868d28e3bb96 (Local ID)89868018-d5a4-49f7-ad4f-868d28e3bb96 (Archive number)89868018-d5a4-49f7-ad4f-868d28e3bb96 (OAI)
Conference
European Biomass Conference and Exhibition : 01/06/2015 - 04/06/2015
Note

Godkänd; 2015; 20150604 (kribac)

Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved

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