Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2010/17: Upscaling emerging niche technologies in sustainable energy: an international comparison of policy approaches

Lars Coenen (), Roald Suurs () and Emma van Sandick ()
Additional contact information
Lars Coenen: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Roald Suurs: TNO Built Environment, Postal: The Netherlands
Emma van Sandick: TNO Built Environment, Postal: The Netherlands

Abstract: To speed up the transformation to low-carbon energy systems, transition policy approaches highlight the importance of purposive experimentation with sustainable niche technologies. An important policy challenge that has followed from various ‘real’ transition experiments concerns the crucial issue of ‘upscaling’ or ‘aggregating’ the niche technologies towards broader and more widespread application in society. To address the question ‘which policy mix supports the upscaling of emergent niche technologies in a transition to sustainable energy systems?’ the paper adopts a comparative approach. Two successful cases where upscaling of emergent technology niches has taken place are contrasted with an unsuccesful fail case. The success cases entail the emergence and diffusion of bioenergy and biofuels in Sweden as well as windpower in Denmark whereas the fail case consists of biofuels in the Netherlands.

Keywords: sustainability transitions; niche technologies; technological innovation systems

JEL-codes: O30

23 pages, January 20, 2011

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201017_Coenen_et_al.pdf PDF-file 

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