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Public policies for a sustainable energy sector: regulation, diversity and fostering of innovation

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Many industrialised countries have Introduced environmental policy measures in order to reduce negative externalities linked to economic activities. These policy actions produce different effects on the economic system depending on the regulatory tools adopted and the specific objective of public intervention. The impact on innovation is particularly difficult to predict, especially with regard to the direction of technological change. As a case study, we have chosen the energy sector where the strong interrelations between socio-economic and technological dimensions may exacerbate the negative consequences of implementing conflicting policies. The aim of this paper is to show how the lack of strong coordination between different public policies implemented in the energy sector may lead to an incoherent policy mix with negative effects on the development and diffusion of environmentally-friendly energy technologies. We have adopted a gravity equation model based on bilateral export flows of technologies for production and consumption of renewable energies and energy-saving technologies for OECD countries. Our key findings show that alternative measures of public support in the energy sector have been producing contrasting effects on the international competitiveness of energy technologies.

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  • Costantini, Valeria & Crespi, Francesco, 2009. "Public policies for a sustainable energy sector: regulation, diversity and fostering of innovation," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200915, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:200915
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    Cited by:

    1. Grazia Cecere & Nicoletta Corrocher & Cédric Gossart & Muge Ozman, 2014. "Lock-in and path dependence: an evolutionary approach to eco-innovations," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 1037-1065, November.
    2. Costantini, Valeria & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2012. "On the green and innovative side of trade competitiveness? The impact of environmental policies and innovation on EU exports," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 132-153.
    3. Cantner, Uwe & Graf, Holger & Herrmann, Johannes & Kalthaus, Martin, 2016. "Inventor networks in renewable energies: The influence of the policy mix in Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 1165-1184.
    4. Valeria Costantini & Francesco Crespi & Ylenia Curci, 2015. "A keyword selection method for mapping technological knowledge in specific sectors through patent data: the case of biofuels sector," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 282-308, June.
    5. Johnstone, Nick & Managi, Shunsuke & Rodríguez, Miguel Cárdenas & Haščič, Ivan & Fujii, Hidemichi & Souchier, Martin, 2017. "Environmental policy design, innovation and efficiency gains in electricity generation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 106-115.
    6. Costantini, Valeria & Crespi, Francesco & Martini, Chiara & Pennacchio, Luca, 2015. "Demand-pull and technology-push public support for eco-innovation: The case of the biofuels sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 577-595.
    7. Francesco Crespi, 2016. "Policy complexity and the green transformation of the economies as an emergent system property," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(2), pages 143-157, April.
    8. Valeria Costantini & Francesco Crespi & Elena Paglialunga & Giorgia Sforna, 2018. "System Transition and Structural Change Processes in the Energy Efficiency of Residential Sector: Evidence from EU Countries," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-03, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    9. repec:wfo:wstudy:58131 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Gilli, Marianna & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2014. "Innovation complementarity and environmental productivity effects: Reality or delusion? Evidence from the EU," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 56-67.
    11. Max Rånge & Mikael Sandberg, 2016. "Windfall gains or eco-innovation? ‘Green’ evolution in the Swedish innovation system," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(2), pages 229-246, April.
    12. Costantini, Valeria & Crespi, Francesco & Palma, Alessandro, 2017. "Characterizing the policy mix and its impact on eco-innovation: A patent analysis of energy-efficient technologies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 799-819.
    13. Ghisetti, Claudia & Marzucchi, Alberto & Montresor, Sandro, 2015. "The open eco-innovation mode. An empirical investigation of eleven European countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1080-1093.
    14. Nicolò Barbieri & Claudia Ghisetti & Marianna Gilli & Giovanni Marin & Francesco Nicolli, 2016. "A Survey Of The Literature On Environmental Innovation Based On Main Path Analysis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 596-623, July.
    15. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:684-695 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:fan:mcmcmc:v:html10.3280/mc2017-001003 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Francesco Crespi & Claudia Ghisetti & Francesco Quatraro, 2015. "Environmental and innovation policies for the evolution of green technologies: a survey and a test," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(2), pages 343-370, December.
    18. Grafström, Jonas, 2017. "An Econometric Analysis of Divergence of Renewable Energy Invention Efforts in Europe," Ratio Working Papers 295, The Ratio Institute.
    19. Schleich, Joachim & Walz, Rainer & Ragwitz, Mario, 2017. "Effects of policies on patenting in wind-power technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 684-695.
    20. Francesco Crespi & Claudia Ghisetti & Francesco Quatraro, 2015. "Taxonomy of implemented policy instruments to foster the production of green technologies and improve environmental and economic performance," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 90, WWWforEurope.
    21. Valeria Costantini & Francesco Crespi & Alessandro Palma, 2015. "Characterizing the policy mix and its impact on eco-innovation in energy-efficient technologies," SEEDS Working Papers 1115, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Jun 2015.

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    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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