IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/rensus/v16y2012i6p3836-3846.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why does renewable energy diffuse so slowly? A review of innovation system problems

Author

Listed:
  • Negro, Simona O.
  • Alkemade, Floortje
  • Hekkert, Marko P.

Abstract

In this paper we present a literature review of studies that have analysed the troublesome trajectory of different renewable energy technologies (RETs) development and diffusion in different, mainly European countries. We present an overview of typical systemic problems in the development of innovation systems around RETs. We make use of the literature on innovation system failures to develop a categorisation of typical systemic problems that hamper the development and diffusion of RETs. Based on this categorisation the paper suggests several policy recommendations to overcome the systemic problems and accelerate the diffusion and implementation of RETs.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:16:y:2012:i:6:p:3836-3846
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2012.03.043
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032112002262
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christensen, Clayton M. & Rosenbloom, Richard S., 1995. "Explaining the attacker's advantage: Technological paradigms, organizational dynamics, and the value network," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 233-257, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Simona O. Negro & Marko P. Hekkert & Ruud Smits, 2008. "Stimulating Renewable Energy Technologies by Innovation policy," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 08-13, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2008.
    4. Simona O Negro & Marko P Hekkert & Ruud E H M Smits, 2008. "Stimulating renewable energy technologies by innovation policy," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(6), pages 403-416, July.
    5. Meijer, Ineke S.M. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Koppenjan, Joop F.M., 2007. "The influence of perceived uncertainty on entrepreneurial action in emerging renewable energy technology; biomass gasification projects in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5836-5854, November.
    6. Stenzel, Till & Frenzel, Alexander, 2008. "Regulating technological change--The strategic reactions of utility companies towards subsidy policies in the German, Spanish and UK electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2645-2657, July.
    7. Bakker, Sjoerd, 2010. "The car industry and the blow-out of the hydrogen hype," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6540-6544, November.
    8. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Raven, R.P.J.M. & Gregersen, K.H., 2007. "Biogas plants in Denmark: successes and setbacks," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 116-132, January.
    10. Ufuah, Allan N & Utterback, James M, 1997. "Responding to Structural Industry Changes: A Technological Evolution Perspective," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 183-202.
    11. Ulmanen, Johanna H. & Verbong, Geert P.J. & Raven, Rob P.J.M., 2009. "Biofuel developments in Sweden and the Netherlands: Protection and socio-technical change in a long-term perspective," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(6-7), pages 1406-1417, August.
    12. Negro, Simona O. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Smits, Ruud E., 2007. "Explaining the failure of the Dutch innovation system for biomass digestion--A functional analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 925-938, February.
    13. Jacobsson, Staffan & Lauber, Volkmar, 2006. "The politics and policy of energy system transformation--explaining the German diffusion of renewable energy technology," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 256-276, February.
    14. Lipsey, Richard G. & Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Bekar, Clifford T., 2005. "Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290895.
    15. Andersson, Bjorn A. & Jacobsson, Staffan, 2000. "Monitoring and assessing technology choice: the case of solar cells," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(14), pages 1037-1049, November.
    16. 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.
    17. del Río, Pablo & Unruh, Gregory, 2007. "Overcoming the lock-out of renewable energy technologies in Spain: The cases of wind and solar electricity," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 11(7), pages 1498-1513, September.
    18. Hellsmark, Hans & Jacobsson, Staffan, 2009. "Opportunities for and limits to Academics as System builders--The case of realizing the potential of gasified biomass in Austria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5597-5611, December.
    19. Agnolucci, Paolo, 2008. "Factors influencing the likelihood of regulatory changes in renewable electricity policies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 141-161, January.
    20. Rainer Walz, 2007. "The role of regulation for sustainable infrastructure innovations: the case of wind energy," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1/2), pages 57-88.
    21. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    22. Roald A.A. Suurs & Marko P. Hekkert & Ruud E.H.M. Smits, 2009. "Understanding the build-up of a Technological Innovation System around Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 09-10, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Jun 2009.
    23. Dinica, Valentina, 2009. "Biomass power: Exploring the diffusion challenges in Spain," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(6-7), pages 1551-1559, August.
    24. Foxon, T.J. & Pearson, P.J.G., 2007. "Towards improved policy processes for promoting innovation in renewable electricity technologies in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1539-1550, March.
    25. Raven, R. P. J. M., 2004. "Implementation of manure digestion and co-combustion in the Dutch electricity regime: a multi-level analysis of market implementation in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 29-39, January.
    26. Jacobsson, Staffan, 2008. "The emergence and troubled growth of a 'biopower' innovation system in Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1491-1508, April.
    27. Suurs, Roald A.A. & Hekkert, Marko P., 2009. "Competition between first and second generation technologies: Lessons from the formation of a biofuels innovation system in the Netherlands," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 669-679.
    28. Kamp, Linda M. & Smits, Ruud E. H. M. & Andriesse, Cornelis D., 2004. "Notions on learning applied to wind turbine development in the Netherlands and Denmark," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(14), pages 1625-1637, September.
    29. Markard, Jochen & Stadelmann, Martin & Truffer, Bernhard, 2009. "Prospective analysis of technological innovation systems: Identifying technological and organizational development options for biogas in Switzerland," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 655-667, May.
    30. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    31. Jacobsson, Staffan & Johnson, Anna, 2000. "The diffusion of renewable energy technology: an analytical framework and key issues for research," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 625-640, July.
    32. Rao, K. Usha & Kishore, V.V.N., 2010. "A review of technology diffusion models with special reference to renewable energy technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 1070-1078, April.
    33. Verbong, Geert & Geels, Frank, 2007. "The ongoing energy transition: Lessons from a socio-technical, multi-level analysis of the Dutch electricity system (1960-2004)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1025-1037, February.
    34. Söderholm, Patrik & Ek, Kristina & Pettersson, Maria, 2007. "Wind power development in Sweden: Global policies and local obstacles," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 365-400, April.
    35. Mark Winskel & Andrew McLeod & Robin Wallace & Robin Williams, 2006. "Energy policy and institutional context: Marine energy innovation systems," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(5), pages 365-376, June.
    36. Nill, Jan & Kemp, Ren, 2009. "Evolutionary approaches for sustainable innovation policies: From niche to paradigm?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 668-680, May.
    37. Staffan Jacobsson & Anna Bergek, 2004. "Transforming the energy sector: the evolution of technological systems in renewable energy technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 815-849, October.
    38. Thomas Decker & Klaus Menrad & Stefan Berenz & Robert Wagner, 2007. "Regulation and innovation in biogas technology in selected European countries," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1/2), pages 89-108.
    39. Simona O. Negro & Marko P. Hekkert, 2008. "Explaining the success of emerging technologies by innovation system functioning: the case of biomass digestion in Germany," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 08-08, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2008.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kang, Moon Jung & Hwang, Jongwoon, 2016. "Structural dynamics of innovation networks funded by the European Union in the context of systemic innovation of the renewable energy sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 471-490.
    2. del Río, Pablo & Bleda, Mercedes, 2012. "Comparing the innovation effects of support schemes for renewable electricity technologies: A function of innovation approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 272-282.
    3. Markard, Jochen & Raven, Rob & Truffer, Bernhard, 2012. "Sustainability transitions: An emerging field of research and its prospects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 955-967.
    4. Foxon, Timothy J., 2011. "A coevolutionary framework for analysing a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2258-2267.
    5. van Alphen, Klaas & Noothout, Paul M. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Turkenburg, Wim C., 2010. "Evaluating the development of carbon capture and storage technologies in the United States," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 971-986, April.
    6. Wirth, Steffen, 2014. "Communities matter: Institutional preconditions for community renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 236-246.
    7. Musiolik, Jörg & Markard, Jochen, 2011. "Creating and shaping innovation systems: Formal networks in the innovation system for stationary fuel cells in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 1909-1922, April.
    8. Polzin, Friedemann, 2017. "Mobilizing private finance for low-carbon innovation – A systematic review of barriers and solutions," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 525-535.
    9. Hellsmark, Hans & Frishammar, Johan & Söderholm, Patrik & Ylinenpää, Håkan, 2016. "The role of pilot and demonstration plants in technology development and innovation policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1743-1761.
    10. Strupeit, Lars, 2017. "An innovation system perspective on the drivers of soft cost reduction for photovoltaic deployment: The case of Germany," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 273-286.
    11. Suurs, Roald A.A. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Kieboom, Sander & Smits, Ruud E.H.M., 2010. "Understanding the formative stage of technological innovation system development: The case of natural gas as an automotive fuel," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 419-431, January.
    12. Raven, Rob, 2007. "Co-evolution of waste and electricity regimes: Multi-regime dynamics in the Netherlands (1969-2003)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2197-2208, April.
    13. Hellsmark, Hans & Jacobsson, Staffan, 2009. "Opportunities for and limits to Academics as System builders--The case of realizing the potential of gasified biomass in Austria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5597-5611, December.
    14. Bergek, Anna & Jacobsson, Staffan & Carlsson, Bo & Lindmark, Sven & Rickne, Annika, 2008. "Analyzing the functional dynamics of technological innovation systems: A scheme of analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 407-429, April.
    15. Bossink, Bart, 2020. "Learning strategies in sustainable energy demonstration projects: What organizations learn from sustainable energy demonstrations," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    16. Tigabu, Aschalew Demeke & Berkhout, Frans & van Beukering, Pieter, 2015. "The diffusion of a renewable energy technology and innovation system functioning: Comparing bio-digestion in Kenya and Rwanda," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 90(PA), pages 331-345.
    17. Bergek, Anna & Berggren, Christian, 2014. "The impact of environmental policy instruments on innovation: A review of energy and automotive industry studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 112-123.
    18. Meijer, Ineke S.M. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Koppenjan, Joop F.M., 2007. "The influence of perceived uncertainty on entrepreneurial action in emerging renewable energy technology; biomass gasification projects in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5836-5854, November.
    19. Darmani, Anna & Arvidsson, Niklas & Hidalgo, Antonio & Albors, Jose., 2014. "What drives the development of renewable energy technologies? Toward a typology for the systemic drivers," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 834-847.
    20. Bolton, Ronan & Foxon, Timothy J., 2015. "Infrastructure transformation as a socio-technical process — Implications for the governance of energy distribution networks in the UK," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 90(PB), pages 538-550.

    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:rensus:v:16:y:2012:i:6:p:3836-3846. 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: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/600126/description#description .

    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.