Int. J. of Transitions and Innovation Systems   »   2011 Vol.1, No.3



Title: An empirical insight into the functionality of emerging sustainable innovation systems: the case of renewable energy in oil-rich Saudi Arabia


Author: Yasser M. Al-Saleh


Address: INSEAD, Innovation and Policy Initiative, P.O. Box 48049, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Abstract: The underlying premise of this paper is that it is in the best long-term interests for major oil-producing countries to support the development and diffusion of renewable energy technologies. Since there have only been a limited number of sustainability transition studies which have drawn upon the theoretical concepts that have recently been articulated within the realm of innovation studies, this paper makes use of the dominant theoretical concepts related to the functions of innovation systems in order to examine the potential establishment of a sizable renewable energy industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Not only does the paper reveals a number of ominous signs of weakness that currently impede a transition towards renewables in this oil-rich country, but it also provides recommendations that have the potential to support the future development of a well-functioning sustainable innovation system.


Keywords: sustainability transitions; systems of innovation; Saudi Arabia; sustainable innovation; renewable energy; sustainability; sustainable development; oil producing countries.


DOI: 10.1504/IJTIS.2011.042662


Int. J. of Transitions and Innovation Systems, 2011 Vol.1, No.3, pp.302 - 320


Available online: 23 Sep 2011



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