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Xue Han and Jorge Niosi

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The Revolution in Energy Technology

Innovation and the Economics of the Solar Photovoltaic Industry

Xue Han and Jorge Niosi

The solar photovoltaic sector is moving forward very fast, both in terms of its own technological advancement and its standing among global renewable energy technologies. Rapid increases in solar cell efficiencies, fast technical change in solar batteries and solar glass, and economies of scale in production fuel its rapid adoption, and it is becoming clear that existing forecasts about its adoption need to be updated extensively. This timely and distinctive examination of the economic side of the field takes into account solar PV’s recent and growing lead among renewable energies competing to replace fossil fuels.
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Xue Han and Jorge Niosi

Chapter 2 extracts the key points of the solar PV sectors in terms of industrial performance, technologies and regulations. This chapter acts as the foundation for understanding further specific studies in the following chapter.

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The New Global Politics of Science

Knowledge, Markets and the State

Mats Benner

Science has become a central political concern with massive increases in public investments and expectations, but resources are embedded in a complex web of societal expectations, which vary between countries and regions. This book outlines an insightful understanding of science policy as both concerning the governance of science itself (priority-setting, funding, organization and articulation with polity, society, and economy) and its extra-organizational connections, in terms of higher education, innovation and national policy concerns.
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Mats Benner

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Sander Faber and Marina van Geenhuizen

This chapter investigates adoption of medical technology in the form of eHealth solutions in hospitals. A model of organizational eHealth adoption is developed and empirically explored using a survey among hospitals in cities in the Netherlands and structural equation modelling (SEM). Technology adoption is seen as a process in different stages, revealing a high level of interest (about 60 per cent of hospitals) but very limited actual adoption (ranging from 6 per cent to 23 per cent). Furthermore, adoption levels tend to be higher in larger cities, and this is confirmed by significant direct influence of urban size on eHealth adoption. Other important factors tend to be organizational readiness and top management of hospitals, but these are not affected by urban size. The results leave the question open as to what makes hospitals in large cities more often adopt new technology if this is not mediated by hospital size and other organizational characteristics.

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Hans Jeekel

This chapter investigates innovation in urban passenger transport and clarifies how cities play a leading role. By focusing on liveability, intelligent systems management and new mobility, single innovations are discussed and the results summarized in a matrix. The most important ‘initiators’ are city governments, citizen groups, public transport authorities and universities, with the enterprise world somewhat lagging until recently. On the physical side, larger cities create more inventions and high density plays a role in feasibility of public transport. Universities are important, as is a historical city centre. On the social side, a well-educated population wishing to continue living in the city enhances innovation, but in some developing countries the electorate which does not own cars appears to be important. Also helpful are city governments acting on openness and trust and active political leaders. Furthermore, the early adopting cities often faced a crisis in mobility or failure of projects.

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Pieter E. Stek

This chapter presents a bibliometric study identifying clusters (cities) that are ‘champions’ in acceleration of invention in solar photovoltaics (PV), using patent analysis. The number of inventions has increased rapidly in the past decades, particularly since 2003. In this process, leading clusters change, in part, over time. Some have held their position since 2000 – Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul and Taipei in East Asia, and San Jose in the US – whereas most high-performing clusters in the US have somewhat lost their position, for example Los Angeles. Over time, there is an increased spread of inventive performance in PV technology across the world. To improve understanding of these patterns, a regression model has been estimated. Using data from 110 clusters, it appears that agglomeration factors and relational factors are equally influential, and they also tend to reinforce each other. Leadership tends to follow from a delicate balance between the size of the cluster and size/diversity of its networks.

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Cities and Sustainable Technology Transitions

Leadership, Innovation and Adoption

Edited by Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri

This enlightening book elucidates the leadership challenges of various cities in emerging transitions towards higher levels of sustainability. It examines elements of three socio-technical systems, energy, transport and healthcare, while addressing technology invention, commercialization, mass-production and adoption. The book breaks new ground in the analysis of topical issues such as local ‘cradle’ conditions, incentive schemes, niche-development, living labs, impact bonds, grass-roots intermediation and adaptive policy making. It offers a broad coverage of global systems of cities, with a particular focus on Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, China, Korea, Japan, the US and Canada.
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Freek Kuipéri, Marina van Geenhuizen and Jan Anne Annema

This chapter explores important uncertainties faced by cities in designing a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs), and it provides important ingredients for adaptive policy making. Uncertainty stems from future EV demand, new/improved technology concerning batteries, charging equipment and alternative fuel, and integration of EV batteries as a storage medium in smart energy systems. The chapter illustrates these uncertainties using scenario-analysis of demand for charging infrastructure, including the level of city quarters. Furthermore, large cities in the Netherlands tend to be slightly more ambitious with regard to EV policy than smaller cities, but there may be differences between large cities in different countries, for example Stockholm and Amsterdam. The chapter closes by presenting an adaptive policy making framework, given the uncertainty in national policies impacting on demand for EV cars, in integrating EVs in larger systems of renewable energy, and in arrangements concerning exploitation of charging stations.