IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

An innovation management approach for renewable energy deployment--the case of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology

Listed author(s):
  • Shum, Kwok L.
  • Watanabe, Chihiro
Registered author(s):

    In the discussion of renewable energy deployment, one key concern is the various types of barriers that renewable energy needs to overcome before it can make its way into the mainstream. These barriers increasingly shift from the technical to the economic and institutional. The most general types of barriers are due to technological 'lock-out' or to carbon 'lock-in' [Unruh, G., 2000. Understanding carbon lock-in. Energy Policy 28(12), 817-830 (Elsevier)]. These barriers necessitate the development of a strategic approach to deploy or introduce renewable energy technology. Existing energy policy has mostly relied upon financial subsidies, market-based instruments such as renewable portfolio standards, and production tax credits to stimulate the installation and use of equipment to generate electricity from renewable sources. These strategies target mostly system-level decisions of end users. The purpose of this paper is to present an innovation perspective on the renewable energy deployment process by introducing the innovation value-added chain (IVC) framework. The analytical objective of IVC is to evaluate the impact of a new innovation on the various stakeholders and players in the development and deployment processes. A deployment or innovation strategy that causes minimal disruption, enhances existing competencies, or expedites new learning by the players has a higher chance to succeed. We draw upon two sets of system integration costs data for grid-connected distributed photovoltaic (PV) systems in Japan and the United States and demonstrate conspicuously different dynamic learning behaviors. These two deployment models can be understood in terms of how the IVCs are organized and how PV system integration projects are performed in the field. In addition, IVC-based findings can inform the targeted application of conventional financial subsidies for learning investment not only at the PV system level, but also at the (localized) system integration level. This would involve other stakeholders, thus suggesting new energy policy space. We highlight some future research directions using the IVC framework.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 3535-3544

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:9:p:3535-3544
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Davies, Stephen W., 1979. "Inter-firm diffusion of process innovations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 299-317, October.
    2. Geroski, Paul, 2003. "The Evolution of New Markets," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199248896.
    3. Afuah, Allan N. & Bahram, Nik, 1995. "The hypercube of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 51-76, January.
    4. Karsten Neuhoff, 2005. "Large-Scale Deployment of Renewables for Electricity Generation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 88-110, Spring.
    5. Shum, Kwok L. & Watanabe, Chihiro, 2007. "Photovoltaic deployment strategy in Japan and the USA--an institutional appraisal," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1186-1195, February.
    6. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    7. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    8. Clark, Kim B., 1985. "The interaction of design hierarchies and market concepts in technological evolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 235-251, October.
    9. Shum, Kwok L. & Watanabe, Chihiro, 2008. "Towards a local learning (innovation) model of solar photovoltaic deployment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 508-521, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:9:p:3535-3544. 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)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.