The policy robustness and resilience trajectories of renewable energy innovation leaders

The policy efforts to shift energy production and consumption profiles from fossil resources towards renewables have stimulated innovation activities and economic maturing of RE technologies, most evidently the wind and solar. This has become visible not only in growing RE production shares and international technology trade volumes, but also in the numbers of issued patents. However, the economic dynamics are geographically uneven as some of the countries have emerged as technology leaders that in principle drive the general development and take the most advantage of it. In this paper, we focus on three suspected innovation champions – Denmark, Finland and Germany – and ask whether certain features of public policy have sustained the central role of RE technologies in their policy agendas over long periods of time. We turn to the concepts of policy robustness and resilience coined by adaptive policy scholars to achieve this. By analysing the long-term policy trajectories of the case study countries, we conclude that while all these countries have had relatively robust policy strategies, there are differences in the ways and extends that resilience is promoted. Of the case countries, Denmark’s wind power policy seems to be an excellent example of how robustness and resilience building can be balanced in a fruitful way. In the end, we provide more generalisable lessons on how policy robustness and resilience could be promoted in different settings. Read more from our conference paper that will be presented in the 9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference in Manchester and in the Energizing Futures conference in Tampere this June: Berg, A., Lukkarinen, J., Ollikka, K. (2018) The policy robustness and resilience trajectories of renewable energy innovation leaders – Analysing the promotion of bioenergy in Finland, wind energy in Denmark and solar power in Germany


An intermediary approach to technological innovation systems (TIS)—The case of the cleantech sector in Finland

The Technological Innovation System (TIS) framework has become a popular tool for the analysis of innovation dynamics, particularly on a national scale. There have been calls to utilise the framework at sub-national levels too, and to pay attention to location-specific features and interactions. This article contributes to the discussion by studying how the sub-national intermediary network of the Finnish Carbon-Neutral Municipalities (HINKU) complements and challenges the national cleantech innovation system in Finland. To achieve this, we propose an analytical framework that combines the TIS framework with intermediary functions. Our study shows that the TIS framework is a practical tool for analysing potential discontinuities and policy development possibilities regarding innovation systems across spatial scales. Read more from our article that has been recently published in the journal Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions:  Lukkarinen, J., Berg, A., Salo, M., Tainio, P., Alhola, K., Antikainen, R. (2018) An intermediary approach to technological innovation systmes (TIS) – The case of the cleantech sector in Finland