Why are old technologies persisted with after better alternatives have been invented? This book examines this question, a central concern of evolutionary economics, specifically focusing on renewable energy technologies. The concept of path dependence is used to analyse why and how technological development can become locked-in to inefficient ways of doing things. This book shows how lock-in can be avoided by the creation of new technological pathways.
The chapters focus on the comparatively recent introduction of new wind turbine technologies for the generation of carbon free electricity. This case study provides valuable lessons in understanding the issues confronting inventors attempting to commercialise their new ideas in the form of innovations in the face of historically established conventional technologies. It is also set within the critical debate on climate change and the need to de-carbonise energy supplies in order to stop further man-made deterioration in the global environment.
This book was originally published as a special issue of European Planning Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Path Dependence and New Path Creation in Renewable Energy Technologies James Simmie Part I: Theories 2. Path Creation: Co-creation of Heterogeneous Resources in the Emergence of the Danish Wind Turbine Cluster Peter Karnøe and Raghu Garud 3. Path Dependence and New Technological Path Creation in the Danish Wind Power Industry James Simmie 4. Comparing Alternative Path Creation Frameworks in the Context of Emerging Biofuel Fields in the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland Raimo Lovio and Paula Kivimaa Part II: Geographies 5. Renewable Energy Technology and Path Creation: A Multi-scalar Approach to Energy Transition in the UK Jürgen Essletzbichler 6. Transversality and Transition: Green Innovation and New Regional Path Creation Philip Cooke 7. From the Old Path of Shipbuilding onto the New Path of Offshore Wind Energy? The Case of Northern Germany Dirk Fornahl, Robert Hassink, Claudia Klaerding, Ivo Mossig and Heike Schröder 8. Spatial Processes of Industry Emergence: US Wind Turbine Manufacturing Industry Gregory Theyel Part III: Policy 9. Clean Energy Technology and the Role of Non-Carbon Price-Based Policy: An Evolutionary Economics Perspective Nicholas Howarth
James Simmie is professor of Innovation Studies at Oxford Brookes University, UK. His work is focused on the relationships between innovation, productivity and the competitiveness of urban regions. It is developed within the theoretical framework of evolutionary economics and geography. Over the years he has published widely on these themes. Some of his more recent publications are available to download from http://planning.brookes.ac.uk/staff/jamessimmie.html