This book is the first attempt to systematically introduce the aspect of time into economic and environmental innovation policy. The authors demonstrate how `windows of opportunity' for technological innovations emerge and also explain how they can be identified and effectively exploited.
Technological innovations are widely considered as an opportunity to realise a double dividend - protect the environment and increase profits by introducing a more sustainable technology. However, intervention by the state is often needed to overcome the competitive disadvantage caused by externalities, path dependency and lock-in. The authors provide extensive evidence that this resistance to technological change is subject to substantial temporal variation. They argue that it is economically and politically sensible to identify periods of time in which resistance is weakest and to exploit these `windows of opportunity' whenever and wherever they occur. They also highlight how time strategies for innovation policy can involve the preparation and creation of `windows' which do not yet exist. Throughout the book, they use an array of varied and interesting case studies to confirm and illustrate their theoretical findings. These address issues such as CFC phase-out, the lean-burn engine versus the catalytic converter, ecological alternatives to chemical pesticides and the zero emission vehicle mandate in California.
By exploring the relationship between time strategies and technological change, this book will undoubtedly lead to a more efficient and sustainable innovation policy. It will be required reading for academics, researchers and policymakers working in the fields of environmental innovation, sustainability, technology policy and political science.
Edited by Christian Sartorius, Research Fellow, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe, Germany and Stefan Zundel, Professor of Economics, University of Applied Sciences Lausitz, Senftenberg, Germany
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Conceptual Framework 3. Phase-out of CFCs and the Protection of the Ozone Layer 4. Mercury-based Chlor-Alkali Electrolysis - Retro-fitting and Phase-out as Strategic Alternatives 5. Policy, Time and Technological Competition: Lean-Burn Engine versus Catalytic Converter in Japan and Europe 6. Crystalline and Thin-Film Photovoltaic Cells - Competition or Lock-in? 7. LUBILOSA - An Ecological Alternative to Chemical Pesticides 8. Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate in California: Misguided Policy or Example of Enlightened Leadership? 9. Stationary Fuel Cells and the Decentralised Cogeneration of Power and Heat 10. The Influence of (Un)Certainty on the Effectiveness of Political Regulation - The Case of EDTA 11. Combined-Cycle Gas Turbines - Between Climate Protection and Other Policy Objectives 12. Technological Competition, Time and Time Windows - The Case of Iron and Steel Production Technologies 13. Techno-Political Competition and Lock-in: The Case of Nuclear Power Technologies 14. VHS versus Beta - The Case of VHS as a De Facto Standard in Video Recording 15. Conclusions - A Time-Strategic Ecological Innovation Policy Index