دو روی بازار پشتیبانی؛ چگونه سیاست های به کارگیری اکتشاف و بهره برداری فن آوری در صنعت صفحات خورشیدی را تحت تأثیر قرار می دهد؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20168||2013||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||14554 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 42, Issue 4, May 2013, Pages 989–1003
The recent years have seen a strong rise in policies aiming to increase the diffusion of clean energy technologies. While there is general agreement that such deployment policies have been very effective in bringing technologies to the market, it is less understood how these policies affect technological innovation. To shed more light on this important question, we conducted comparative case studies with a global sample of 9 firms producing solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, complemented by in-depth interviews with 16 leading PV industry experts. We propose that, on the one hand, policy-induced market growth serves as an important catalyst for innovative activity as it raises the absolute level of firm investments in technological exploration. On the other hand, however, deployment policies create an incentive for firms pursuing more mature technologies to shift their balance between exploitation and exploration toward exploitation. Firms focusing on less mature technologies cannot tap the potentials of exploitative learning to the same extent as those with more mature technologies. Therefore, stimulating strong market growth may raise the barrier to market entry for less mature technologies. We conclude that, when designing deployment policies, great care should be taken to avoid adverse effects on technological diversity and a premature lock-in into more established technologies.
Reconciling economic objectives with environmental concerns requires decoupling economic growth from its negative consequences such as resource depletion or the emission of greenhouse gases. A major lever to achieve this goal is the use of clean energy technologies. However, currently, many of these technologies are still at an early stage of development and not yet cost competitive with long-established fossil fuel-based energy technologies (IEA, 2011). Therefore, a question of significant importance is how public policies can foster technological progress in the field of clean energy technologies (e.g. Mowery et al., 2010). While until the year 2000 government support largely focused on the direct funding of research and development (R&D), during the last ten years there has been an increasing focus on so-called deployment policies, targeted at diffusing clean energy technologies into the market. For example, to date more than 60 countries worldwide have introduced feed-in tariffs which grant producers of clean power a fixed price per unit of electricity (REN21, 2011). In a rising number of countries, the funding dedicated to deployment policies by far exceeds direct political incentives for R&D – for example, by a factor of around 40 in Germany (Amprion et al., 2010 and BMU, 2010). The literature on environmental policy suggests that, besides having a positive effect on diffusion, deployment policies can ‘induce’ innovation (e.g. Del Río González, 2009 and Porter and van der Linde, 1995). Furthermore, quasi-evolutionary approaches to innovation policy recommend that regulators make use of deployment policies to create niche markets for technologies. Such niches are assumed to foster innovation in emerging technologies by shielding them from competition with established regimes (e.g. Kemp et al., 1998). However, up to this point the empirical literature provides only limited insights into the detailed mechanisms through which deployment policies affect innovation on an actor level. Studies in environmental economics generally investigate the innovation effect of deployment policies on a rather aggregate level of analysis, e.g. the sector ( Cleff and Rennings, 1999). Empirical evolutionary research on deployment policies usually assumes a systems perspective without explicitly focusing on how these policies influence specific actors, such as firms, in their decisions to invest in innovative activities ( Nill and Kemp, 2009). A recent study by Nemet (2009) underscores the importance of analyzing the innovation effects of deployment policies on a more disaggregated level. Studying patenting activity in the wind industry, Nemet suggests that policy-induced market growth may have incentivized technology producers to ‘exploit’ existing products to benefit from learning-by-doing and economies of scale, while simultaneously setting a disincentive to ‘explore’ alternative technological options. A strong focus on technological exploitation relative to exploration, in turn, is likely to yield less radical innovations and might raise the likelihood of technological lock-ins (Malerba, 2009 and Sandén, 2005). Given that it remains unclear whether existing technological trajectories are sufficient to meet future economic, social and ecological goals, it seems advisable to avoid a premature lock-in into particular technologies (Stirling, 2010). Therefore, analyzing the detailed mechanisms through which deployment policies affect technological exploitation and exploration on the firm level could bear important implications for theory and praxis. Although the literature on organizational learning has identified various antecedents of firm-level exploration/exploitation, such as a firm's slack resources, thus far there are no empirical studies available that investigate the impact of public policy (Lavie et al., 2010). With this paper, we contribute to a more nuanced picture of how deployment policies induce innovation. In contrast to previous studies, we choose the firm as the unit of analysis and present systematic empirical data that describe how deployment policies affect corporate investments in technological exploration and exploitation. Following an inductive approach, we derive testable propositions, which are based on findings from in-depth interviews with 24 corporate managers in 9 European, US, Chinese and Japanese firms producing solar photovoltaic (PV) modules. These case studies are complemented by interviews with 16 leading PV industry experts. Besides providing a rich description of the mechanisms at work, our approach allows us to examine how deployment policies affect technological competition between more and less mature PV technologies. The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: Section 2 provides an overview of past studies dealing with the innovation effect of deployment policies as well as the literature on exploitation and exploration. Furthermore, the initial theory framework as developed at the outset of the study is presented. Sections 3 and 4 introduce the research case and method. The results of our study are presented in Section 5, followed by a discussion of implications for theory and policy makers (Section 6). The paper concludes with a description of limitations, suggestions for future research and a brief summary of the main results.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study contributes to a better understanding of how deployment policies induce technological innovation. Since previous work suggested that strong policy-induced market growth may create an incentive for firms to focus on exploitation to the detriment of exploration, we investigated the question of how deployment policies affect corporate investments in these two modes of learning. We suggest that policy-induced market growth leads to an absolute increase in the level of firm investments in exploration as it raises firms’ income and attracts venture capital investors to the industry. The degree to which deployment policies induce firms to invest in exploitative learning, however, is highly dependent on the maturity of the firm's product technology. For firms pursuing more mature PV technologies, an increase in policy-induced market growth reduces the immediate need to invest in longer-term explorative activities, sets strong incentives to use scarce human resources for exploitation and facilitates exploitation through the emergence of specialized manufacturing equipment. Firms pursuing less mature PV technologies are often not in a position to make use of exploitation to the same extent as they may lack a functioning product or the necessary production equipment. Since exploitation is accompanied by benefits from learning-by-doing and economies of scale, strong policy-induced market growth raises the barriers to market entry for emerging technologies. Our findings have important implications for the design of deployment policies. We find deployment policies to be generally effective in fostering technological innovation. However, deployment policies need to be designed with care and should be complemented by supply-side measures to alleviate the risk of a technological lock-in.