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Regulating technological change--The strategic reactions of utility companies towards subsidy policies in the German, Spanish and UK electricity markets

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  • Stenzel, Till
  • Frenzel, Alexander

Abstract

This paper focuses on how incumbent electric utilities strategically react to subsidy schemes supporting renewable energy technologies in the UK, Germany, and Spain. Firms coordinate the development of their technological capabilities and their political activities to shape their regulatory environment. Analysing the diffusion of wind power in these countries, we show that the different ways, in which firms coordinate their technological and political strategies, lead to very different market outcomes, both for the firms' market share and the size of the overall market. Although incumbents are usually seen as being resistant to change in energy systems, we show that Spanish utilities proactively drive the diffusion of wind power. We speculate about the relation between the ownership structure of the energy system and its inertia with respect to the integration of new technologies. We derive novel policy implications that explicitly take into account the strategic actions of incumbent firms shaping the technological and regulatory system.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 2645-2657

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:7:p:2645-2657

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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Cited by:
  1. Lionel Nesta & Francesco Vona & Francesco Nicolli, 2012. "Environmental Policies, Product Market Regulation and Innovation in Renewable Energy," Working Papers 2012.90, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Sarasini, Steven, 2013. "Institutional work and climate change: Corporate political action in the Swedish electricity industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 480-489.
  3. Nolden, Colin, 2013. "Governing community energy—Feed-in tariffs and the development of community wind energy schemes in the United Kingdom and Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 543-552.
  4. Markard, Jochen & Petersen, Regula, 2009. "The offshore trend: Structural changes in the wind power sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3545-3556, September.
  5. Negro, Simona O. & Alkemade, Floortje & Hekkert, Marko P., 2012. "Why does renewable energy diffuse so slowly? A review of innovation system problems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 3836-3846.
  6. Boccard, Nicolas, 2009. "Capacity factor of wind power realized values vs. estimates," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2679-2688, July.
  7. Francisco Aguayo & Kelly Sims Gallagher & Kevin P. Gallagher, 2010. "Energy innovation in Latin America: R&D effort, deployment, and capability accumulation," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2010-02, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
  8. Paul Lehmann & Felix Creutzig & Melf-Hinrich Ehlers & Nele Friedrichsen & Clemens Heuson & Lion Hirth & Robert Pietzcker, 2012. "Carbon Lock-Out: Advancing Renewable Energy Policy in Europe," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 323-354, February.
  9. Worch, Hagen & Truffer, Bernhard & Kabinga, Mundia & Eberhard, Anton & Markard, Jochen, 2013. "A capability perspective on performance deficiencies in utility firms," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-9.
  10. Hannon, Matthew J. & Foxon, Timothy J. & Gale, William F., 2013. "The co-evolutionary relationship between Energy Service Companies and the UK energy system: Implications for a low-carbon transition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1031-1045.
  11. Jacobsson, Staffan & Bergek, Anna & Finon, Dominique & Lauber, Volkmar & Mitchell, Catherine & Toke, David & Verbruggen, Aviel, 2009. "EU renewable energy support policy: Faith or facts?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2143-2146, June.
  12. Doblinger, Claudia & Soppe, Birthe, 2013. "Change-actors in the U.S. electric energy system: The role of environmental groups in utility adoption and diffusion of wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 274-284.

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