Transition Towards a Green Economy in Europe: Innovation and Knowledge Integration in the Renewable Energy Sector

32 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2016 Last revised: 14 Sep 2018

See all articles by Chiara Conti

Chiara Conti

University of Rome I

Maria Luisa Mancusi

Department of Economics and Finance; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC)

Francesca Sanna Randaccio

Sapienza University of Rome

Roberta Sestini

University of Rome I

Elena Verdolini

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change

Date Written: December 6, 2016

Abstract

A major concern regarding innovation in clean technologies in the EU is that the fragmentation of its innovation system may hinder knowledge flows and, consequently, spillovers across member countries. A low intensity of knowledge flows across EU states can negatively impact their technological base, suppressing opportunities for further innovations and hindering the movement towards the technological frontier. This paper evaluates the fragmentation of the EU innovation system in the field of renewable energy sources (RES) by examining the intensity and direction of knowledge spillovers over the years 1985-2010. We modify the original double exponential knowledge diffusion model to provide information on the degree of integration of EU countries’ innovation efforts and to assess how citation patterns changed over time. We show that EU RES inventors have increasingly built “on the shoulders of the other EU giants”, intensifying their citations to other member countries and decreasing those to domestic inventors. Furthermore, the EU strengthened its position as source of RES knowledge for the US. Finally, we show that this pattern is peculiar to RES, with other traditional (i.e. fossil-based) energy technologies behaving in a completely different way.

Keywords: Knowledge Spillovers, Renewable Energy Technologies, Fossil Energy Technologies, EU Innovation

JEL Classification: Q55, Q58, Q42, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Conti, Chiara and Mancusi, Maria Luisa and Sanna Randaccio, Francesca and Sestini, Roberta and Verdolini, Elena, Transition Towards a Green Economy in Europe: Innovation and Knowledge Integration in the Renewable Energy Sector (December 6, 2016). FEEM Working Paper No. 71.2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2881235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2881235

Chiara Conti

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

Maria Luisa Mancusi

Department of Economics and Finance; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) ( email )

1 Largo A. Gemelli
Milano (Milan), MI Milano 20123
Italy

Francesca Sanna Randaccio

Sapienza University of Rome ( email )

via del Castro Laurenziano, 9
Rome, RM 00161
Italy
+39 06 4829 9228 (Phone)
+39 06 4829 9218 (Fax)

Roberta Sestini

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

Elena Verdolini (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

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