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Multilevel assessment of diversity, innovation and selection in the solar photovoltaic industry

  • van den Heuvel, Stijn T.A.
  • van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M.

We undertake an empirical study of the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry using evolutionary-economic concepts. Experts regard solar energy as a realistic option for sustainable energy provision in the long run. We identify the innovation and selection forces that drive the changes in the solar PV industry. In addition, a quantitative analysis using diversity indexes is performed at four levels of the solar PV industry: countries, technologies, applications and companies. Richness (number of alternatives) and evenness are calculated in order to describe and identify the changes that have occurred over time at each level. Most remarkable is that evenness has increased at the company level and decreased at the other three levels. We draw a number of policy conclusions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 50-60

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Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:20:y:2009:i:1:p:50-60
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/525148

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  1. Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "Recombinant Growth," Scholarly Articles 3708468, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Sagar, Ambuj D. & van der Zwaan, Bob, 2006. "Technological innovation in the energy sector: R&D, deployment, and learning-by-doing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2601-2608, November.
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  7. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Optimal diversity: Increasing returns versus recombinant innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 565-580, December.
  8. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  9. Tisdell, Clement A. & Seidl, Irmi, 2001. "Niches and Economic Competition: Implications for Economic Efficiency, Growth and Diversity," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90508, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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