The renewable energies technology surge: A new techno-economic paradigm in the making?
Despite discussion of a .carbon lock-inÿ and techno-institutional barriers to change, energy studies have had little serious contact with neo-Schumpeterian theorizing on technological .surgesÿ or revolutions and successive waves of creative destruction, which have characterized the entire industrial era from the 1770s on. In this paper a way is offered to link the current surge in renewable energy investment to the theorizing over long (Kondratiev) waves and techno-economic paradigm shifts. The paper argues that the current renewable energy surge can be best com-prehended as a secondary surge in the fifth long K-wave, coinciding with the shift from gestation to installation of a new sixth techno-economic paradigm within the matrix of the fifth. It is argued that this emergent 6th paradigm is a continuation and fulfilment of the 5th, where IT and ICT are applied to the electric power grid, and that both are in conflict with the still-incumbent 4thparadigm based on fossil fuels and centralized power generation. The emergent 6thparadigm portends a renewable energy speculative financial boom and bubble which could burst sometime in the period 2015 to 2020, ushering in a period of sustained development of renewables and energy-efficiency services by productive rather than financial capital.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2012|
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