from wind: A framework for effective low-carbon energy diffusion"
Constantine T. Samaras
Over the past twenty-five years, wind power has evolved from an emerging
alternative energy source to a commercially viable utility-scale
technology that can play a role in a low-carbon future. Wind turbines have
matured technically from simple machines constructed with off-the-shelf
motor components to carefully optimized advanced power generation systems
with a worldwide manufacturer and supplier base. Advancements in wind
power occurred through actions in both the engineering and public policy
institutional arenas. This research examines the technologies, policies,
and inter-industry spillovers that have enabled the exponential growth of
installed wind power from 1999 through 2005 and analyzes the relative
efficacies of the various policies and actors that comprise the wind
innovation system. It provides engineers and policymakers a program
management and policy design framework for continued development of wind
energy as well as for other emerging low-carbon energy technologies.
Spillovers from technical domains outside of wind energy are found to have
played a critical role in enabling wind to achieve significant levels of
penetration into the energy system. This suggests that energy policies
designed to leverage spillovers across interdependent industries may be
more effective at encouraging low-carbon energy adoption compared with
policies tailored toward promoting a specific technology.
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