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Electricity sector liberalisation and innovation: An analysis of the UK's patenting activities

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  • Jamasb, Tooraj
  • Pollitt, Michael G.

Abstract

Liberalisation has had a marked effect on innovative activities in the electricity industry. In particular, electricity reforms have resulted in a reduction in R&D spending in the sector. R&D and patenting activities are respectively regarded as innovative inputs to and outputs from technological progress. The present paper examines the effect of the reforms on patenting activity in the UK electricity sector. The results indicate that electricity related patents in non-nuclear and renewable technologies have increased in the post-liberalisation period. We attribute this trend to the increased commercialisation of the sector. While this development is positive, we argue that a lasting decline in R&D will in the longer run reduce technological progress and innovation in the sector. In order to maintain the pace of innovation, we discuss the need to design a new framework for innovation systems that is commensurate with the functioning and incentive mechanisms of a liberalised sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 309-324

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:2:p:309-324

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

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Keywords: Electricity Patent Innovation Technology Liberalisation;

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References

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  1. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nick Johnstone & Ivan Hascic & David Popp, 2008. "Renewable Energy Policies And Technological Innovation: Evidence Based On Patent Counts," NBER Working Papers 13760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Basberg, Bjorn L., 1987. "Patents and the measurement of technological change: A survey of the literature," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2-4), pages 131-141, August.
  4. Paul L. Joskow, 1998. "Electricity Sectors in Transition," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 25-52.
  5. Margolis, Robert M. & Kammen, Daniel M., 1999. "Evidence of under-investment in energy R&D in the United States and the impact of Federal policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 575-584, October.
  6. Markard, Jochen & Truffer, Bernhard, 2006. "Innovation processes in large technical systems: Market liberalization as a driver for radical change?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 609-625, June.
  7. Narin, Francis & Hamilton, Kimberly S. & Olivastro, Dominic, 1997. "The increasing linkage between U.S. technology and public science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 317-330, October.
  8. Sioshansi, Fereidoon P., 2001. "Competition in Liberalized European Electricity Markets," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 73-83, March.
  9. Lanjouw, Jean Olson & Mody, Ashoka, 1996. "Innovation and the international diffusion of environmentally responsive technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 549-571, June.
  10. Foxon, T. J. & Gross, R. & Chase, A. & Howes, J. & Arnall, A. & Anderson, D., 2005. "UK innovation systems for new and renewable energy technologies: drivers, barriers and systems failures," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2123-2137, November.
  11. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
  12. Jamasb, Tooraj & Nuttall, William J. & Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "The case for a new energy research, development and promotion policy for the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4610-4614, December.
  13. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2005. "Deregulation and R&D in Network Industries: The Case of the Electricity Industry," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0533, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tooraj Jamasb & Rabindra Nepal, 2014. "Issues and Options in the Economic Regulation of European Network Security," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1425, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Francesco Nicolli & Francesco Vona & Lionel Nesta, 2012. "Determinants of Renewable Energy Innovation: Environmental Policies vs. Market Regulation," Working Papers 201204, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
  3. Lionel Nesta & Evens Salies, 2010. "Libéralisation et dépôts de brevets verts des utilités électriques en Europe," Sciences Po publications 2010-21, Sciences Po.
  4. Ledezma, Ivan, 2013. "Defensive strategies in quality ladders," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 176-194.
  5. Cátia Felisberto, 2013. "Liberalisation, competition and innovation in the postal sector," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1407-1434, June.
  6. Bruno Amable & Ivan Ledezma & Stéphane Robin, 2014. "Product market regulation, innovation and productivity," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00973947, HAL.
  7. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09hc033ieaj is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Nelson, Andrew & Earle, Andrew & Howard-Grenville, Jennifer & Haack, Julie & Young, Doug, 2014. "Do innovation measures actually measure innovation? Obliteration, symbolic adoption, and other finicky challenges in tracking innovation diffusion," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 927-940.
  9. Nesta, Lionel & Vona, Francesco & Nicolli, Francesco, 2014. "Environmental policies, competition and innovation in renewable energy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 396-411.
  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. Evens Salies, 2009. "A test of the Schumpeterian hypothesis in a panel Of European electric utilities," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-19, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

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