From the old path of shipbuilding onto the new path of offshore wind energy? The case of northern Germany
Wind energy-related employment has been surging recently in Germany: it rose from 9,200 in 1997 to 90,000 in 2007 and is estimated to be 112,000 in 2020. The industry particularly emerged in coastal, northern Germany. Recently big hopes are particularly set on the offshore wind energy industry. Two recently discussed evolutionary concepts explain the emergence of new industries, such as wind energy, in space in different ways: the windows of locational opportunity concept stresses the locational freedom in the earliest stages of industrial development, whereas path creation emphasises the role of existing industrial development paths, such as shipbuilding, from which new paths, such as wind energy, emerge. The paper aims at analysing whether the new path of offshore wind energy emerged out of existing paths, mainly shipbuilding, in the five states of coastal Germany. It concludes that shipbuilding only indirectly affected the emergence of the new development path of offshore the wind energy industry in northern Germany.
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