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Transition towards a green economy in Europe: Innovation and knowledge integration in the renewable energy sector

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  • Conti, C.
  • Mancusi, M.L.
  • Sanna-Randaccio, F.
  • Sestini, R.
  • Verdolini, E.

Abstract

This paper investigates the fragmentation of the EU innovation system in the field of renewable energy sources (RES) by estimating the intensity and direction of knowledge spillovers over the years 1985–2010. We modify the original double exponential knowledge diffusion model proposed by Caballero and Jaffe (1993) to provide information on the degree of integration of EU countries’ RES knowledge bases and to assess how citation patterns changed over time. We show that EU RES inventors have increasingly built “on the shoulders of the other EU giants”, intensifying their citations to other member countries and decreasing those to domestic inventors. Furthermore, the EU strengthened its position as source of RES knowledge for the US. Finally, we show that this pattern is peculiar to RES, with other traditional (i.e. fossil-based) energy technologies and other radically new technologies behaving differently. Our results provide suggestive, but convincing evidence that the reduction in fragmentation emerged as a result of the EU support for RES taking mainly the form of demand-pull policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Conti, C. & Mancusi, M.L. & Sanna-Randaccio, F. & Sestini, R. & Verdolini, E., 2018. "Transition towards a green economy in Europe: Innovation and knowledge integration in the renewable energy sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 1996-2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:10:p:1996-2009
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.07.007
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:8:p:2253-:d:222820 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Horbach, Jens & Rammer, Christian, 2017. "Energy transition in Germany and regional spillovers: What triggers the diffusion of renewable energy in firms?," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-044, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:121:y:2018:i:c:p:404-414 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EU integration; Renewable energy technologies; Knowledge flows;

    JEL classification:

    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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