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Latecomer strategies for catching-up: the cases of renewable energies and the LED programme


  • John A. Mathews


Traditional industrial development pathways, that did not take into explicit consideration the issue of energy technologies to be utilised, now imperil development prospects around the world. Energy security, global climate change and the tasks of industrial development now combine to create a setting where initiatives such as global action on biofuels assume new significance. This paper argues that in order for biofuels to be taken up seriously by developing countries, they need to view the development process through the prism of 'technological learning' and the institutions of technology leverage – technological adoption, adaptation and diffusion – that are required. The strategy of identifying and seizing latecomer advantages is essential for such an enterprise to succeed. The specific case of Light Emitting Diode (LED)–based lighting initiatives being promoted in villages in Africa illustrates the issues involved.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. Mathews, 2007. "Latecomer strategies for catching-up: the cases of renewable energies and the LED programme," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(1), pages 34-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijtlid:v:1:y:2007:i:1:p:34-42

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