Evolutionary Economics and Environmental Policy

Evolutionary Economics and Environmental Policy

Survival of the Greenest

New Horizons in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics series

Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, Albert Faber, Annemarth M. Idenburg and Frans H. Oosterhuis

This study offers a unique evolutionary economics perspective on energy and innovation policies in the wider context of the transition to sustainable development.

Chapter 4: Evolutionary Policy for Energy Innovations

Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, Albert Faber, Annemarth M. Idenburg and Frans H. Oosterhuis

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, evolutionary economics, environment, environmental economics


4.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter describes in general terms current Dutch government policy with regard to the stimulation of innovations in the energy sector. The following key question serves as our starting point: To what extent are the views underlying Dutch public policies relating to innovations in the energy sector, as reflected in available policy and advisory documents, in line with the insights of evolutionary economics? Various policy domains are relevant for the stimulation of energy innovations. These include energy policy, environmental policy, climate policy, technology or innovation policy, scientific policy and transition policy. In this chapter we will look in particular at energy, technology and innovation policy. The other areas of policy will be covered only insofar as they are directly relevant for innovations in the energy sector. The chapter starts with a brief summary of Dutch policy and advisory documents that underlie our analysis of evolutionary principles in energy and innovation policy. The focus is placed on interaction between, and motivation for, energy research policy and innovation policy. Section 4.3 briefly summarizes the history and background of Dutch energy policies, including the policy design for energy innovations. Section 4.4 presents a similar historical overview of Dutch innovation policies. In Section 4.5 we evaluate the Dutch design of energy and innovation policies against the background of the evolutionary concepts from Chapter 2. 4.2 POLICY AND ADVISORY DOCUMENTS Energy policy goes back decades and can be traced quite clearly since the 1970s. Technology policy is more difficult...

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