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Path creation through branching and transfer of complementary resources: the role of established industries for new renewable energy technologies

Author

Listed:
  • Jens Hanson

    (TIK Centre, University of Oslo)

  • Markus Steen

    (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim and SINTEF Technology & Society, Trondheim)

  • Tyson Weaver

    (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim)

  • Håkon E. Normann

    (TIK Centre, University of Oslo)

  • Gard H. Hansen

    (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim)

Abstract

Building industrial capacity for new renewable energy technologies (RETs) is a central challenge in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. This article analyses how resources from established industries can contribute to new industrial path creation for RETs, by processes of path branching. We develop a theoretical framework that explores pressures and drivers of path branching and how complementary resources are mobilized from established to emerging paths. The framework is confronted with two cases in Norway that illustrate how old and new industrial paths are interlinked: (1) the energy intensive process industry and solar photovoltaics and (2) oil & gas and offshore wind power. We find that multiple resources are transferred, including knowledge, infrastructures and financial and human capital. We further suggest that processes of resource transfer are driven by the simultaneous presence of selection pressures and branching opportunities. Our findings have implications for policy making as well as theorizing sustainability transitions with regards to how established industries can provide key foundations for and inputs to emergence of new ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Hanson & Markus Steen & Tyson Weaver & Håkon E. Normann & Gard H. Hansen, 2016. "Path creation through branching and transfer of complementary resources: the role of established industries for new renewable energy technologies," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20160310, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:inowpp:20160310
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    References listed on IDEAS

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