Ratio Working Paper No. 351: Knowledge Spillovers in the Solar energy sector

PublikationWorking paper
Patent, Research and Development, solar power, Spillovers
Working Paper 351.Solar Spillover.JG
Ladda ner


The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the existence and possible direction of international knowledge spillovers in the solar energy sector. Specifically, the paper investigates how the accumulation of solar energy patents and public R&D spending affected the output of domestic granted solar energy patents. The econometric analysis relies on a data set consisting of most of the OECD countries plus China and analyzes two time periods; from 1990 to 2014 and the years 2000 to 2014. To analyze the data material, a Poisson fixed-effects estimator based on the Hausman, Hall and Griliches (1984) method was used. The empirical findings suggest that the domestic accumulation of patents and R&D is important for the potential development of new ones. Indeed, early investment in specific technology can be an indicator of future leadership in that field.

Grafström, J. (2021). Knowledge Spillovers in the Solar energy sector. Ratio Working Paper No. 351. Stockholm: Ratio.

Liknande innehåll

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.”

The book can be downloaded here.

The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P.


Publicerat i

Energies, 14(14), 4269.


The purpose of this paper is to establish if Marshallian and Jacobian knowledge spillovers affect job creation in the green energy sector. Whether these two effects exist is important for the number of jobs created in related fields and jobs pushed away in other sectors. In the analysis, the production efficiency, in terms of jobs and job spillovers, from inventions in solar, wind and energy efficiency, is explored through data envelopment analysis (DEA), based on the Malmquist productivity index, and tobit regression. A panel dataset of American and European firms over the period of 2002–2017 is used. The contribution to the literature is to show the role of the spillovers from the same technology sector (Marshallian externalities), and of the spillovers from more diversified activity (Jacobian externalities). Since previous empirical evidence concerning the innovation effects on the production efficiency is yet weak, the paper attempts to bridge this gap. The empirical findings suggest negative Marshallian externalities, while Jacobian externalities have no statistical impact on the job creation process. The findings are of strategic importance for governments who are developing industrial strategies for renewable energy.

Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P. (2021). The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector. Energies, 14(14), 4269.

Ratio Working Paper No. 347: A review of problems associated with learning curves for solar and wind power technologies
Working paperPublikation
Grafström, J. & Poudineh, R.


Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper


The learning curve concept, which relates historically observed reductions in the cost of a technology to the number of units produced or the capacity cumulatively installed, has been widely adopted to analyse the technological progress of renewable resources, such as solar PV and wind power, and to predict their future penetration. Learning curves were originally an empirical tool to evaluate learning-by-doing in manufacturing, and the jump to analysis of country-level technological change in renewable energy is an extension that requires careful consideration. This paper provides a review of the problems associated with learning curves for solar and wind power technologies. Issues such as whether the past cost reductions affect the future, learning curve specification problems, changing price ratios and econometric issues are discussed. Learning curves have a place in research, but there are several pitfalls that researchers should be careful not to overlook.

Visa fler

Ratio är ett fristående forskningsinstitut som forskar om hur företagandets villkor kan utvecklas och förbättras.

Sveavägen 59 4trp

Box 3203

103 64 Stockholm

Bankgiro: 512-6578