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International knowledge spillovers in the wind power industry: evidence from the European Union

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Företagandets villkor, Förnybar energi, Jonas Grafström, Patent, Spillovers, Uppfinning, Vindkraft

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the presence of international knowledge spillovers in the wind power sector. Specifically, the paper investigates whether successful invention efforts in one country, measured by way of granted wind power patent counts, have had positive effects on the neighboring countries’ abilities to generate patents of the same category. Data on the number of patents granted at the European Patent Office during the period 1978–2008 are used for the eight national technological leaders in the western European wind power sector. The few comprehensive wind power studies that exist have only found limited evidence of international knowledge spillovers. However, in this paper, we find that international spillovers are statistically significant determinants of a country’s wind power patenting outcomes. Geographical distance is also taken into consideration, and the knowledge spillover effects are shown to become stronger with decreases in this distance. The results should have important policy implications, for example, for a national government when it comes to applying an investment strategy in wind power or, alternatively, free-riding on other countries’ invention efforts.

Grafström, J. (2018). International knowledge spillovers in the wind power industry: evidence from the European Union. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 27(3), 205-224. DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2017.1328778

Based on content

An Anatomy of Failure – Wind Power Development in China
Article (with peer review)Publication
Grafström, J.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

China is currently the world’s largest installer of wind power. However, with twice the installed wind capacity compared to the United States in 2015, the Chinese produce less power. The question is: Why is this the case? This article shows that Chinese grid connectivity is low, Chinese firms have few international patents, and that export is low even though production capacity far exceeds domestic production needs. Using the tools of Austrian economics, China’s wind power development from 1980 to 2016 is documented and analyzed from three angles: (a) planning and knowledge problems, (b) unproductive entrepreneurship, and (c) bureaucracy and government policy. From a theoretical standpoint, both a planning problem and an entrepreneurial problem are evident where governmental policies create misallocation of resources and a hampering of technological development.

Divergence of renewable energy invention efforts in Europe
Article (with peer review)Publication
Grafström, J.
Publication year

2018

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to investigate the presence of convergence (or divergence) of invention efforts per capita in the renewable energy field across European Union (EU) countries. Divergence may imply a risk of a lower level of goal fulfilment regarding the share of renewable energy in the EU energy mix. This is due to free-rider issues and sub-optimal investment levels, in turn making it more expensive and cumbersome to expand renewable energy production. Convergence suggests a possible faster renewable energy goal achievement. The econometric analysis is based on patent application counts per capita for 13 EU Member States over the time period 1990–2012. The methods used draw on the economic convergence literature. First, we rely on a panel data set to test for conditional β-convergence. Moreover, a distributional dynamics approach is employed to test for σ- and γ-convergence, and analyse the intra-distributional dynamics. The results indicate conditional β- and σ-divergence in renewable energy invention capabilities across the 13 countries, thus suggesting that some EU countries tend to free-ride on the development efforts of other Member States.
Related content: Working paper No. 295

Ratio Working Paper No. 336 An Austrian economic perspective on failed Chinese wind power development
Working paperPublication
Grafström, J.
Publication year

2020

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

China is currently hailed as the world’s premier wind power producer. However, despite twice the installed wind power capacity compared to the United States in 2015, the Chinese installed capacity produces less power. Grid connectivity is remarkably low, Chinese firms have few international granted patents, and export is minimal even though production capacity far exceeds the domestic production needs. Using the tools of Austrian economics, failures in China’s wind power development from 1980-2016 is documented and analysed. From a theoretical standpoint, both a planning problem and an entrepreneurial problem is evident where governmental policies create misallocation of resources and a hampering of technological development.

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