Title: Renewable energy in European regions

Authors: Yoram Krozer

Addresses: Centre for Studies on Technology and Sustainable Development (CSTM), University Twente/Sustainable Innovations Academy, Iepenplein 44, 1091JR Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: The regional dynamics of energy innovation, in particular the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the EU, is discussed within the framework of neo-Schumpeterian theory. The EU's 4.2% average annual growth in renewable energy production in the last decade has been accompanied by diverging performances among the EU countries. Regional performances within a country also vary. The periphery regions seem to underperform, as is shown for five regions in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Cases of innovation networks in five forerunning regions, in Austria, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, suggest that the development of renewable energy emerges from social innovations aimed at regional development, and it is driven by those change agents that can pull together national and regional policy instruments for project implementation. Based on an assessment of a province in the Netherlands, it is concluded that this development leads to the socially beneficial scaling up of renewable energy, albeit requiring capital at low interest rates.

Keywords: regional dynamics; energy innovation; renewable energy; costs; benefits; regions; investment; policy; neo-Schumpeterian theory; EU; European Union; regional performance; regional development; innovation networks; social innovation; capital investment; low interest rates.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIRD.2012.045140

International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 2012 Vol.4 No.1, pp.44 - 59

Published online: 23 Aug 2014 *

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