Time strategies in environmental innovation policy: the case of the mobile fuel cell and hydrogen infrastructure
Although fundamental innovations can make especially important contributions to the environmental soundness of economic progress, they are often impeded by path dependency and lock-in on the part of established technologies. Because the intensity of the latter effect changes in time, it is possible to identify and strategically use windows of opportunity - periods in which successful transition is greatly facilitated. In the case of the mobile fuel cell, economies of scale, learning and network effects are among the most important techno-economic determinants of such a window. Other more political determinants are political guidance and supranational agreements. All effects were combined to form a time strategy that allows innovation policy to effectively push the new technology at the lowest possible cost for the economy.
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