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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, Chiara
  • Mancusi, Maria Luisa
  • Francesca, Sanna-Randaccio
  • Roberta, Sestini
  • Elena, Verdolini

Abstract

A major concern regarding innovation in clean technologies in the EU is that the fragmentation of its innovation system may hinder knowledge flows and, consequently, spillovers across member countries. A low intensity of knowledge flows across EU states can negatively impact their technological base, suppressing opportunities for further innovations and hindering the movement towards the technological frontier. This paper evaluates the fragmentation of the EU innovation system in the field of renewable energy sources (RES) by examining the intensity and direction of knowledge spillovers over the years 1985-2010. We modify the original double exponential knowledge diffusion model to provide information on the degree of integration of EU countries’ innovation efforts 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 behaving in a completely different way.

Suggested Citation

  • Conti, Chiara & Mancusi, Maria Luisa & Francesca, Sanna-Randaccio & Roberta, Sestini & Elena, Verdolini, 2016. "Transition Towards a Green Economy in Europe: Innovation and Knowledge Integration in the Renewable Energy Sector," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation and Transformation Pathways 250256, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemmi:250256
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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

    Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies;

    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
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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