Demand, Users and Innovation
Edited by Rod Coombs, Ken Green, Albert Richards and Vivien Walsh
Chapter 5: Inducement and blocking mechanisms in the development of a new industry: the case of renewable energy technology in Sweden
Anna Johnson and Staffan Jacobsson INTRODUCTION In the past twenty-ﬁve years, a number of renewable energy technologies (RETs), for example wind turbines, have emerged in response both to oil crises and to growing environmental problems. Some of these technologies are now diffusing rapidly in the global market, and a new growth industry is emerging.1 As is commonly the case, this growth industry is unevenly distributed across nations. As many authors emphasize, the study of the development of a new industry requires the use of an analytical framework which includes factors that go beyond the individual ﬁrm. These are found within the particular ‘innovation system’ which the ﬁrm is a part of and include institutions and networks in addition to markets. The purpose of this chapter is to analyse how the Swedish innovation system has shaped the formation of a local industry that supplies RET.2 The chapter is structured as follows. First, an analytical framework is developed. Second, we describe the empirical ﬁeld and make a preliminary assessment of the performance of Swedish industry within RET. Third, this performance is explained empirically in terms of mechanisms inducing and blocking the industry’s development. Finally, we discuss some implications for policy. ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK The process by which new technology emerges and is diffused in society, thereby generating new growth industries, can be studied from a number of 89 90 Technology and the market perspectives. The neoclassical economic perspective focuses on the inﬂuence of changes in relative prices. In contrast, seen from...
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