IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v119y2018icp154-167.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The valley of death, the technology pork barrel, and public support for large demonstration projects

Author

Listed:
  • Nemet, Gregory F.
  • Zipperer, Vera
  • Kraus, Martina

Abstract

Moving non-incremental innovations from the pilot scale to full commercial scale raises questions about the need and implementation of public support. Heuristics from the literature put policy makers in a dilemma between addressing a market failure and acknowledging a government failure: incentives for private investments in large scale demonstrations are weak (the valley of death) but the track record of governance in large demonstration projects is poor (the technology pork barrel). These arguments are reassessed in the literature, particularly as to how they apply to supporting demonstration projects for decarbonizing industry. A new data set is built of 511 demonstration projects in nine technology areas and characteristics for each project are coded, including timing, motivations, scale, and the share of public funding. The literature and the results from the case studies have five main implications for policy makers in making decisions about demonstration support. Policy makers should consider: prioritizing learning, iteratively upscaling, engaging the private sector, disseminating knowledge widely, and making demand pull robust.

Suggested Citation

  • Nemet, Gregory F. & Zipperer, Vera & Kraus, Martina, 2018. "The valley of death, the technology pork barrel, and public support for large demonstration projects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 154-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:119:y:2018:i:c:p:154-167
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.04.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421518302258
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
    2. Hendry, Chris & Harborne, Paul & Brown, James, 2010. "So what do innovating companies really get from publicly funded demonstration projects and trials? innovation lessons from solar photovoltaics and wind," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4507-4519, August.
    3. Hendry, Chris & Harborne, Paul, 2011. "Changing the view of wind power development: More than "bricolage"," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 778-789, June.
    4. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques & Mohnen, Pierre, 2010. "Measuring the Returns to R&D," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1033-1082, Elsevier.
    5. Weyant, John P., 2011. "Accelerating the development and diffusion of new energy technologies: Beyond the "valley of death"," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 674-682, July.
    6. Giovanni Dosi & Luigi Marengo & Corrado Pasquali, 2010. "How Much Should Society Fuel the Greed of Innovators? On the Relations between Appropriability, Opportunities and Rates of Innovation," Chapters, in: Riccardo Viale & Henry Etzkowitz (ed.), The Capitalization of Knowledge, chapter 4, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Shouro Dasgupta & Enrica De Cian & Elena Verdolini, 2016. "The Political Economy of Energy Innovation," Working Papers 2016.35, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. David J. TEECE, 2008. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 5, pages 67-87, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Kingsley, Gordon & Bozeman, Barrt & Coker, Karen, 1996. "Technology transfer and absorption: an 'R & D value-mapping' approach to evaluation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 967-995, September.
    10. Cappelli, Riccardo & Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius, 2014. "Sources of spillovers for imitation and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 115-120.
    11. Carlsson, B & Stankiewicz, R, 1991. "On the Nature, Function and Composition of Technological Systems," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 93-118, April.
    12. Harold Hotelling, 1931. "The Economics of Exhaustible Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39, pages 137-137.
    13. Verhoeven, Dennis & Bakker, Jurriën & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2016. "Measuring technological novelty with patent-based indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 707-723.
    14. Simon Shackley & Michael Thompson, 2012. "Lost in the mix: will the technologies of carbon dioxide capture and storage provide us with a breathing space as we strive to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewables?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 101-121, January.
    15. Nemet, Gregory F., 2010. "Robust incentives and the design of a climate change governance regime," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7216-7225, November.
    16. Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2012. "Which policy instruments to induce clean innovating?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1770-1778.
    17. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
    18. Mowery, David & Rosenberg, Nathan, 1993. "The influence of market demand upon innovation: A critical review of some recent empirical studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 107-108, April.
    19. Arthur, W. Brian, 2007. "The structure of invention," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 274-287, March.
    20. Assar Lindbeck, 1981. "Industrial Policy as an Issue in the Economic Environment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 391-406, December.
    21. Jaffe, Adam B. & Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2005. "A tale of two market failures: Technology and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 164-174, August.
    22. Cohen, Wesley M. & Goto, Akira & Nagata, Akiya & Nelson, Richard R. & Walsh, John P., 2002. "R&D spillovers, patents and the incentives to innovate in Japan and the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1349-1367, December.
    23. Gregory Nemet & Erin Baker & Bob Barron & Samuel Harms, 2015. "Characterizing the effects of policy instruments on the future costs of carbon capture for coal power plants," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 133(2), pages 155-168, November.
    24. Scherer, F. M. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2000. "Technology policy for a world of skew-distributed outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 559-566, April.
    25. Christopher F Baum, 2008. "Stata tip 63: Modeling proportions," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 299-303, June.
    26. Aleksandar Zaklan & Jan Abrell & Anne Neumann, 2011. "Stationarity Changes in Long-Run Fossil Resource Prices: Evidence from Persistence Break Testing," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1152, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    27. Dominique Finon, 2012. "Efficiency of policy instruments for CCS deployment," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 237-254, March.
    28. Garud, Raghu & Karnoe, Peter, 2003. "Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 277-300, February.
    29. Usher, Will & Strachan, Neil, 2013. "An expert elicitation of climate, energy and economic uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 811-821.
    30. Schmookler, Jacob, 1962. "Economic Sources of Inventive Activity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-20, March.
    31. Harborne, Paul & Hendry, Chris, 2009. "Pathways to commercial wind power in the US, Europe and Japan: The role of demonstration projects and field trials in the innovation process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3580-3595, September.
    32. Karsten Neuhoff & Andrzej Ancygier & Jean-Pierre Ponssard & Philippe Quirion & Nagore Sabio & Oliver Sartor & Misato Sato & Anne Schopp, 2015. "Modernization and Innovation in the Materials Sector: Lessons from Steel and Cement," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 5(28/29), pages 387-395.
    33. Bleda, Mercedes & del Río, Pablo, 2013. "The market failure and the systemic failure rationales in technological innovation systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 1039-1052.
    34. Jeffrey A. Krautkraemer, 1998. "Nonrenewable Resource Scarcity," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2065-2107, December.
    35. David M. Reiner, 2015. "Where can I go to see one? Risk communications for an 'imaginary technology'," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(6), pages 710-713, June.
    36. Herzog, Howard J., 2011. "Scaling up carbon dioxide capture and storage: From megatons to gigatons," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 597-604, July.
    37. Leoncini, Riccardo, 2016. "Learning-by-failing. An empirical exercise on CIS data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 376-386.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jörn Richstein, 2017. "Project-Based Carbon Contracts: A Way to Finance Innovative Low-Carbon Investments," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1714, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. David Popp, 2019. "Environmental Policy and Innovation: A Decade of Research," NBER Working Papers 25631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Francesco Lamperti & Mariana Mazzucato & Andrea Roventini & Gregor Semieniuk, 2019. "The Green Transition: Public Policy, Finance, and the Role of the State," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 88(2), pages 73-88.
    4. Christopher J. Blackburn & Mallory E. Flowers & Daniel C. Matisoff & Juan Moreno-Cruz, 2018. "Do Pilot and Demonstration Projects Work?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7252, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Matteo Deleidi & Mariana Mazzucato & Gregor Semieniuk, 2019. "Neither crowding in nor out: Public direct investment mobilising private investment into renewable electricity projects," Working Papers 226, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    6. Bento, Nuno & Fontes, Margarida, 2019. "Emergence of floating offshore wind energy: Technology and industry," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 66-82.
    7. Åhman, Max & Skjærseth, Jon Birger & Eikeland, Per Ove, 2018. "Demonstrating climate mitigation technologies: An early assessment of the NER 300 programme," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 100-107.
    8. Mariana Mazzucato & Gregor Semieniuk, 2017. "Public financing of innovation: new questions," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 24-48.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Demonstrations; Technology push; Demand pull; Valley of death; Low-carbon;

    JEL classification:

    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:119:y:2018:i:c:p:154-167. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.