A Strategic Condition Framework for Energy Innovation

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Building upon previous work in innovation, technology, and economic fields, we propose a conceptual framework to address the interplay dynamics of public policy and the value chains of clean energy technology innovation systems, by focusing on market structural and strategic conditions in relation to the rate and direction of knowledge diffusion within activity-based value chains. Our framework extends beyond socio-technical transition models by considering such nuances as: 1) the implications of geography, 2) the locus of knowledge types, 3) the dynamics of financial and knowledge flow, and 4) emphasizing the importance of both market structure and institutional conditions. At the firm level, we consider dynamics of interactions between suppliers and customers, innovation activities, the competitive environment, and the firm’s broader strategic relationship to governance activities and structures; we allow for the fact that each of these aspects of a firm’s identity may have a strategically relevant geographic dimension (e.g., service territories, locational concentration of input resources, etc.). We provide a proof-of-concept application of the U.S. utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind sectors, including their interactions with the U.S. power market, which we in present in a web-based information platform (Energy I-SPARK, ei-spark.lbl.gov). 


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