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Technological Change in the Renewable Energy Sector: Essays on Knowledge Spillovers and Convergence
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences. (Nationalekonomi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5952-6379
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to investigate the determinants of technological change in the renewable energy sector, with a special emphasis on the role of knowledge spillovers and convergence across countries. The thesis consists of a preface and five self-contained papers. In Paper I technological change is broken down into the three major development stages laid out by Joseph Schumpeter: invention, innovation and diffusion. Econometric models of each of these stages are specified in the empirical context of wind power. The models are estimated employing a panel dataset consisting of eight western European countries over the time period 1991-2008. The results display evidence of national and international knowledge spillovers in the invention (i.e., patenting) model. The results from the technology learning models indicate evidence of global learning-by-doing, and that the prices of input factors have been important determinants of wind power costs. In line with previous research, the diffusion model results show that investment costs have influenced the development of installed wind power capacity. Paper II investigates how wind power inventions in European countries have affected the technological development achievements in neighboring countries. Data on the number of patents granted at the European Patent Office (EPO) during the period 1978-2008 in the eight technologically leading wind power countries in Europe are employed in a patent production function framework. The presence of international knowledge spillovers is found to constitute a statistically significant determinant of a country’s patent production. Geographical distance is also taken into consideration, and the results suggest that knowledge spillovers are subject to spatial transaction costs: with longer distances the role of international spillovers becomes weaker. Paper III investigates the convergence of inventive capabilities in the EU. Data on total patents per capita in 13 EU countries over the period 1990-2011 are analyzed using both parametric and non-parametric techniques. Converging inventive abilities may be important for the future of the EU given that rapid technological change has resulted in major structural changes in the Member States’ economies during the last decades. The β-convergence and σ-convergence tests suggest convergence in inventive capabilities, and this finding gains some support when analyzing the intra-distributional dynamics of the invention capabilities. Paper IV specifically investigates whether the generation of renewable energy patents per capita has converged or diverged across 13 EU countries over the period 1990-2012. The results indicate the presence of conditional β- and σ-divergence in renewable energy invention abilities. This could be critical for assessing the future prospects of EU policy in the renewable energy field; divergence in terms of invention outcomes could imply a less rapid and yet more expensive goal fulfillment due to free-rider behavior and sub-optimal investment levels. Finally, Paper V tests for convergence/divergence based on countries’ public spending to renewable energy R&D. The empirical analysis focuses on the presence of conditional β-convergence across 13 EU countries over the period 1990-2012. The results suggest divergence in public R&D-based knowledge accumulation, and this is consistent with free-riding behavior on the part of some EU Member States. Energy import dependence and electricity deregulation also affect this divergence pattern. For instance, the higher the energy import dependence, the lower is the speed of divergence across the EU countries in terms of public R&D support. Overall, the diverging pathways in terms of both public R&D and private patenting efforts may raise concerns about an unfair burden-sharing in terms of renewable energy development efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2017.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62695ISBN: 978-91-7583-864-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-865-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-62695DiVA: diva2:1084735
Public defence
2017-05-24, A1545, Luleå Tekniska Universitet, Luleå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-05 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2017-05-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Kappa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kappa
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62693 (URN)
Available from: 2017-03-27 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2017-03-27
2. Invention, innovation and diffusion in the European wind power sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Invention, innovation and diffusion in the European wind power sector
2016 (English)In: Technological forecasting & social change, ISSN 0040-1625, E-ISSN 1873-5509, Vol. 114, 179-191 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to provide an economic analysis of the technology development patterns in the European wind power sector. The three classic Schumpeterian steps of technological development, invention, innovation and diffusion, are brought together to assess the relationship between these. Three econometric approaches are used, a negative binomial regression model for inventions approximated by patent counts, different learning curve model specifications that have been derived from a Cobb-Douglas cost function to address innovation, and a panel data fixed effect regression for the diffusion model. We suggest an integrated perspective of the technological development process where possible interaction effects between the different models are tested. The dataset covers the time period 1991–2008 in the eight core wind power countries in Western Europe. We find evidence of national and international knowledge spillovers in the invention model. The technology learning model results indicate that there exists global learning but also that the world market price of steel has been an important determinant of the development of wind power costs. In line with previous research, the diffusion model results indicate that investment costs have been an important determinant of the development of installed wind power capacity. The results also point towards the importance of natural gas prices and feed-in tariffs as vital factors for wind power diffusion.

National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-5975 (URN)10.1016/j.techfore.2016.08.008 (DOI)000390743900016 ()2-s2.0-84997173095 (Scopus ID)42c15956-17a6-4cb8-be3e-dc4d685b8110 (Local ID)42c15956-17a6-4cb8-be3e-dc4d685b8110 (Archive number)42c15956-17a6-4cb8-be3e-dc4d685b8110 (OAI)
Note

Validerad; 2017; Nivå 2; 2017-01-20 (andbra)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-03-27Bibliographically approved
3. International Knowledge Spillovers in the Wind Power Industry: evidence from the European Union
Open this publication in new window or tab >>International Knowledge Spillovers in the Wind Power Industry: evidence from the European Union
2017 (English)In: Economics of Innovation and New Technology, ISSN 1043-8599, E-ISSN 1476-8364Article in journal (Other academic) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the presence of international knowledge spillovers in the wind power sector. Specifically, the paper investigates whether successful invention efforts in one country, measured by way of granted wind power patent counts, have had positive effects on the neighboring countries’ abilities to generate patents of the same category. Data on the number of patents granted at the European Patent Office during the period 1978-2008 are used for the eight national technological leaders in the western European wind power sector. The few comprehensive wind power studies that exist have only found limited evidence of international knowledge spillovers. However, in this paper we find that international spillovers are statistically significant determinants of a country’s wind power patenting outcomes. Geographical distance is also taken into consideration, and the knowledge spillover effects are shown to become stronger with decreases in this distance. The results should have important policy implications, e.g., for a national government when it comes to applying an investment strategy in wind power or, alternatively, free-riding on other countries’ invention efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keyword
knowledge spillovers, wind power, knowledge production function, patents, renewable energy, inventions.
National Category
Economics and Business Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62687 (URN)10.1080/10438599.2017.1328778 (DOI)2-s2.0-85019755035 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-03-27 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2017-08-16
4. Convergence of Inventive Capabilities within the European Union: A Parametric and Non-Parametric Analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Convergence of Inventive Capabilities within the European Union: A Parametric and Non-Parametric Analysis
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development of a single economic market and rapid technological advances in the European Union (EU) have resulted in its Member States undergoing major structural changes over the past few decades. The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether or not there is convergence in the inventive capabilities across the EU. This is done by econometrically investigating, by means of parametric and non-parametric techniques, the development of patents granted per capita in 13 Member States per capita during the period 1990–2011. The findings of the β-convergence and σ-convergence tests show convergence in inventive capabilities. Moreover, a similar result is obtained when analysing the distributional dynamics of the invention capabilities. The speed of convergence is slow, however; this suggests that policy efforts implemented by the EU to reduce technological gaps among its Member States have been insufficient, and predicts negative long-term consequences for EU cohesion.

Keyword
convergence, patent, panel data, EU.
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62689 (URN)
Available from: 2017-03-27 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2017-03-27
5. Divergence of Renewable Energy Invention Efforts in Europe: An Econometric Analysis Based on Patent Counts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Divergence of Renewable Energy Invention Efforts in Europe: An Econometric Analysis Based on Patent Counts
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this paper is to investigate the presence of convergence (or divergence) of invention efforts per capita in the renewable energy field across European Union (EU) countries. Divergence may imply a risk of a lower level of goal fulfilment regarding the share of renewable energy in the EU energy mix. This is due to free-rider issues and sub-optimal investment levels, in turn making it more expensive and cumbersome to expand renewable energy production. Convergence suggests a faster renewable energy goal achievement. The econometric analysis is based on patent application counts per capita for 13 EU Member States over the time period 1990–2012. The methods used draw on the economic convergence literature. First, we rely on a panel data set to test for conditional β-convergence. Moreover, a distributional dynamics approach is employed to test for σ- and γ-convergence, and analyse the intra-distributional dynamics. The results indicate conditional β- and σ-divergence in renewable energy invention capabilities across the 13 countries, thus suggesting that some EU countries tend to free-ride on the development efforts of other Member States.

Keyword
convergence, divergence, renewable energy development, patent counts, EU.
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62690 (URN)
Available from: 2017-03-27 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2017-03-27
6. Knowledge Accumulation from Public Renewable Energy R&D in the European Union: Converging or Diverging Trends?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowledge Accumulation from Public Renewable Energy R&D in the European Union: Converging or Diverging Trends?
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this paper is to investigate the presence of convergence (or divergence) in public renewable energy R&D spending accumulation in 12 Member States of the European Union (EU) and an extended set of 17 OECD countries. Specifically, we employ a data set covering the period 1980-2012. The motivation for investigating convergence in the selected countries are in part due to the political economy of imposing stricter targets for renewable energy. The method draws inspiration from the classic economic convergence literature. Various empirical specifications for conditional β-convergence is tested. The empirical results suggest divergence in public R&D-based knowledge accumulation, and this is consistent with free-riding behavior on the part of some Member States. Energy import dependence and electricity regulation also affect the divergence pattern, e.g., the speed of divergence.

Keyword
renewable energy, inventions, R&D, convergence.
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62692 (URN)
Available from: 2017-03-27 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2017-05-08

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