The Challenge of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Edited by Stefano Pogutz, Angeloantonio Russo and Paolo Migliavacca
The history of economic growth has been affected by paradigmatic technological changes that have shaped new technological and economic trajectories. From the steam engine to the life sciences, going through the electronics revolution, such technological revolutions have had long-standing implications. The fuel cell revolution in the energy sector has all the characteristics for being such a new paradigmatic change. While the technology, and above all its diffusion, is still in its infancy, we know even less about its implications for firms and industries. In this respect, not only is this book filling an important gap, but it is one of the very first contributions on the matter, which makes it timely and most useful for understanding these processes. In particular, the book, which is the outcome of a collective research, provides new and original insights that open up the ‘black-box’ of the initial history of the industry, and guide the reader to understand how the new industry emerges and the drivers of firm entry and growth. It will not come as a surprise that in order to extract economic value from a new technology, firms must assemble it in a product or they have to provide a service. This calls for access to complementary assets. The issue is especially important when dealing with general purpose technologies suitable for a large number of applications, as the fuel cell technology is. Simply put, in the fuel cell business the full-fledged in-house exploitation of the innovation activity is not an option. As a...