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Local niche experimentation in energy transitions: a theoretical and empirical exploration of proximity advantages and disadvantages

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Author Info

  • Coenen, Lars

    ()
    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Raven, Rob

    ()
    (Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences. Eindhoven University of Technology)

  • Verbong, Geert

    ()
    (Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences. Eindhoven University of Technology)

Abstract

This paper discusses how the approach of Strategic Niche Management (SNM) relates to proximity advantages in innovation processes as identified in the geography of innovation literature. The latter claims that the locations where innovation emerge and thrive are not coincidental, but that they follow certain patterns and explanatory logics. Such specific attention for explaining locations is not explicitly present in SNM, although this literature makes claims about the importance of experimentation in local settings, and local and global dynamics. Hence a confrontation of both literatures is thought to be promising. The paper draws on a theoretical discussion and a case study about aquifer thermal energy storage to conclude (1) that there is sufficient evidence for proximity dimensions in niche development; (2) that taking proximity dimensions seriously in SNM helps to unpack processes of upscaling and aggregation; (3) that literature on proximity and innovation can benefit from a more agency-based and dynamic perspective on proximity advantages; and (4) that there is a bias in proximity literature towards advantages of proximity while neglecting potential disadvantages for innovation, aggregation and upscaling.

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File URL: http://www.circle.lu.se/upload/CIRCLE/workingpapers/200908_Coenen_et_al.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers with number 2009/8.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2009_008

Contact details of provider:
Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
Web page: http://www.circle.lu.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Strategic Niche Management; geography of innovation; sustainability; experiments; energy storage; The Netherlands;

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Cited by:
  1. Philipp Späth, 2012. "Understanding the Social Dynamics of Energy Regions—The Importance of Discourse Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(6), pages 1256-1273, June.

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