آزمایش جایگاه محلی در انتقال انرژی:اکتشاف نظری و تجربی از مزیت و معایب مجاورت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20127||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technology in Society, Volume 32, Issue 4, November 2010, Pages 295–302
This paper discusses how the approach of Strategic Niche Management (SNM) relates to proximity advantages in innovation processes as identified in the geography of innovation literature. The latter claims that the locations where innovation emerge and thrive are not coincidental, but that they follow certain patterns and explanatory logics. Such specific attention for explaining locations is not explicitly present in SNM, although this literature makes claims about the importance of experimentation in local settings, and local and global dynamics. Hence a confrontation of both literatures is thought to be promising. The paper draws on a theoretical discussion and a case study about aquifer thermal energy storage to conclude (1) that there is sufficient evidence for proximity dimensions in niche development; (2) that taking proximity dimensions seriously in SNM helps to unpack processes of upscaling and aggregation; (3) that literature on proximity and innovation can benefit from a more agency-based and dynamic perspective on proximity advantages; and (4) that there is a bias in proximity literature towards advantages of proximity while neglecting potential disadvantages for innovation, aggregation and upscaling.
In the face of major sustainability challenges for the 21st century, such as climate change and rising oil prices, there is currently a lot of attention in Europe for securing a sustainable energy society. This ambition requires a transition from fossil fuels towards various sustainable energy technologies such as biofuels, fuel-cells, photovoltaics, wind-energy, etc. A transition refers to a fundamental change in the fulfillment of societal needs that unfolds in the course of 25–50 years. It entails dynamic interaction and co-evolution of new technologies, changes in markets, user practices, policy and cultural discourses, and governing institutions  and . At present there is a lot of uncertainty how the energy transition will unfold and, whether and how, this transition can be governed. In the face of this uncertainty transition scholars advocate niche experimentation to play a crucial role . It refers to the creation, development and controlled phase-out of protected spaces for the development and use of promising technologies by means of experimentation in a societal context with the aim of learning about the desirability of the new technology and enhancing the further development and rate of application of the new technology . Translated to policy practice, the Strategic Niche Management (SNM) approach suggests a governance perspective to mainstream emerging sustainability innovations through niche experimentation and consecutive upscaling (Raven et al., forthcoming). While niche experimentation are often enacted in a local or urban setting (e.g. urban transport systems based on biogas), surprisingly little attention has been paid to the spatial dimensions of SNM nor at the agglomeration or clustering effects that may arise in these local contexts. Introducing the hitherto unchartered fields of economic geography and regional studies, the objective of the paper is to gain a better understanding under which conditions actors that participate in SNM can leverage the ‘regional advantages’  which might take place in these localities for niche experimentation and upscaling. It offers a conceptual synthesis of key concepts in the geographical literature on innovation, i.e. clusters, agglomerations and regional innovation systems, on the one hand, and the literature on niche experimentation and SNM on the other. The usefulness of this synthesis will be illustrated with a case from the energy domain (energy storage in aquifers). The remainder of the paper will first introduce SNM and regional innovation respectively, followed by a synthesis of these disparate bodies of literature. This is followed by the case illustration, after which the conclusions of this paper are presented.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper we have discussed how local niche experimentation relates to proximity advantages in innovation processes as identified in the geography of innovation literature. This literature claims that the locations where innovation emerge and thrive are not coincidental, but that they follow certain patterns and explanatory logics. Such specific attention for explaining locations is not explicitly present in SNM, although this literature makes claims about the importance of experimentation in local settings, and local and global dynamics. Hence a confrontation of both literatures was thought to be promising. We have presented a case study to explore relationships empirically. The following conclusions can now be drawn. First, we have found evidence that the proximity in local contexts for niche developments of Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage in the Netherlands has played a role in a variety of ways. Cognitive proximity relates in particular to shared expectations. Social proximity turns out to be important in relation to trust between actors. Geographical proximity is crucial in this case, because there is a clear dependence on available resources (i.e. underground heat and cold resources) that turned out to be widely available in the Netherlands. Institutional proximity – i.e. proximity between the niche and external institutions such as regulations – was also found to be important. In this case difference between institutions on a provincial level explained why experiments tend to emerge in four provinces instead of others. Finally, organisational proximity in this case referred mainly to the creation of new actors – i.e. formalisation of interactions between individual persons or organisations such as the task force that was created in 2008. Second, taking into account these notions of proximity helps to understand better how and why the niche evolved over time. More particular, it helps to unpack processes of aggregation and upscaling. Indeed, previous SNM literature has remained vague how exactly aggregation and upscaling occurs. This paper hints at the importance of various proximity dynamics. There is a pattern according to which aggregation and upscaling occurred in the case. Starting with cognitive proximity (articulating expectations) and social proximity (trust) the niche started quite loose and informal from an institutional perspective. Later, organisational proximity and institutional proximity became more important when interactions were formalised into newly created organisational entities and with interactions with the wider institutional context (or regime in SNM terminology). Geographical proximity turns out to be an important ‘background variable’ as the availability of natural resources was crucial for success. While the importance of natural resources is conceptually present in SNM literature (biological literature – being an important intellectual inspiration – indeed emphasises the geographical dimension and resource availability of niches), empirically this aspect is not well articulated in SNM studies. Hence, using proximity concepts holds the promise of opening up the blackbox of aggregation and upscaling and bringing back the importance of locality in SNM. Third, the paper provides useful insights for proximity literature as well. There are several aspects to this. Proximity literature implicitly assumes the presence of proximity advantages, ready to be utilised by innovative actors. This paper, however, suggests that various forms of proximity advantages needs to be shaped rather than being present. In this case of a radical new technology, only some cognitive and geographical proximity advantages were present in the beginning (in the form of loosely coupled expectations and natural resource availability). Many other forms of proximity advantages co-evolved along the way and were actively constructed by involved actors. Agency and path creation played a crucial role in this process . Indeed, experimentation shaped social proximity by creating mutual trust; learning shaped cognitive proximity by aligning expectations; interactions with the wider context shaped institutional proximity and in particular with regulations; and establishing new (intermediary) actors shaped organisational proximity. Hence, there is a need for a more agency-based and dynamic perspective on proximity advantages. Finally, this paper suggests that there is a bias in proximity literature, in the sense that proximity is not always an advantage as suggested by this literature. E.g. there were limits to geographical resources and potential environmental degradation in case of too much projects in too limited areas. Hence, proximity can also be a disadvantage for innovation processes, aggregation and upscaling.