What influences the implementation process of innovation adopters and how can private intermediaries contribute?: The case of renewable energy technologies
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Renewable energy technologies (RE) are a condition to reach the system change required for a sustainable society. During the last decade, many policies have been developed in order to encourage the creation and the spreading of these innovations. The problem is that policies focus on quantity goals and do not monitor the quality of those innovations from a system perspective. Meanwhile, policies attract innovation-adopters who lack knowledge and experience about the innovation that they adopt. The risk of a low implementation quality is therefore high among innovation-adopters and supporting them is crucial. Based on the example of the implementation of wind power in Sweden, our aim is therefore to understand the implementation process by studying the factors that affect the implementation choices of 15 innovation-adopters, which we illustrate through 5 cases. In a second time, we study the potential role that private intermediaries have to play in this process, by looking at the cases of three wind project developers. We found that innovation-adopters are influenced by norms and values, knowledge and experience, resources, organizational structure and the local context where the innovation is implemented, during the implementation process. Some of these influences affect the implementation positively, whereas other result in choices leading to a lower quality of the implementation. Likewise, we found that private intermediaries can help filling in a number of the gaps that were affecting innovation-adopters in their implementation process, by taking the roles of knowledge experts, mediators, market integrators and implementation substitutes. Despite a number of unsolved implementation problems, we can see that private intermediaries contribute in better implementations of RE innovations and we end our paper with some policy recommendations to increase the implementation quality of RE-innovations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Engineering and Technology Economics and Business
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103255OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-103255DiVA: diva2:688336
ETH PhD Academy on Sustainability and Technology 2013, Adressing Ecological Sustainability: A Matter of Stakeholder Management and Competitiveness, June 2nd-7th, 2013, Zurich, Switzer land