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

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
Företagandets villkor, Förnybar energi, Jonas Grafström, Patent, Spillovers, Uppfinning, Vindkraft


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

Liknande innehåll

No evidence of counteracting policy effects on European solar power invention and diffusion.
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Grafström, J., & Poudineh, R.


Publicerat i

Energy Policy, 172, 113319.


In this paper, the questions of how support policies affect invention and diffusion of solar PV technology and whether the effect is heterogeneous and counteracting are investigated in order to help policy makers produce a better policy mix. The policies (and policy proxies) investigated are Feed-in-tariffs (FITs), Public R&D stock and flow, Environmental tax, and Environmental Policy Stringency Index. The policies are within the control of national government and no EU level policies are investigated. Evaluating policies on several dimensions is highly important since there is a risk that policies can promote one aspect of technological progress such as invention but derail diffusion. A Schumpeterian technological development approach is utilised on a panel dataset covering 23 European countries between 2000 and 2019. Two econometric approaches are employed, a negative binomial regression model is used to assess inventions and a panel data fixed effect regression is used for the diffusion model. The empirical findings suggest that no counteracting policy effects were present.

Less from more: China built wind power, but gained little electricity.
Grafström, J.


Publicerat i

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 219.


This chapter investigates Chinese wind power development and concludes that innovation cannot be pushed by the efforts of many, and that when the state clarifies directions and objectives, these can be achieved but with severe and unexpected side effects. Two topics are explored: wind curtailment and low technological development, both examples of unproductive entrepreneurship induced by government policies. The goal of wind power capacity expansion leads to construction (i.e., generation capacity) but little electricity. Examples of failures include low grid connectivity with, some years averaging 15% of generation capacity broken or unconnected to the grid. A key lesson for Europe is that forced innovation often amounts to little and that the old saying holds up: “no plan survives contact with reality.”

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