Science, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Dimitris G. Assimakopoulos, Ilan Oshri and Krsto Pandza
Chapter 8: Research clusters and emerging industrial architecture of the Irish renewable energy sector
Facing the future scarcity of fossil fuels, severe environmental pollution and the climate change caused through combustion of conventional energy sources, it is widely acknowledged that a substantial launch of renewable energy technologies is taking place (OECD IEA, 2007). Sustainable and competitively priced supplies of energy are fundamental for a country’s economic development and international competitiveness. In order to make cleaner energy supplies sustainable and affordable, robust control of the energy industry by governments is not uncommon. Renewable energy (RE) technology is a multidisciplinary field with an expanding knowledge base and widely dispersed sources of expertise. High development costs are associated with long time lags in investment return (Cooke, 2002). Therefore, in the RE field, innovation takes place in networks of learning. Companies and research institutions engage in research and development (R & D) networks to facilitate a broad range of knowledge exchange and cope with high uncertainty.
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