Moreno, R.; Ocampo-Corrales, D.
  • Any: 2022
    The ability of European regions to diversify in renewable energies: The role of technological relatedness. Research Policy, 51(5), 104508
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2022.104508

    Despite the global consensus about the growing significance of renewables, the regional drivers of innovation in these unique and novel technologies have been widely neglected in the literature. In this paper, we show that renewable energy (RE) inventions differ from other green inventions in the knowledge recombination processes leading to their generation as well as in their impact on subsequent inventions. The evidence on these specificities of RE technologies allows us hypothesizing that regional branching in renewables may rely on relatedness differently than other non-RE green technologies. In checking this hypothesis, we use a data set spanning the period 1981-2015 covering 277 European NUTS2 regions in the EU28 countries plus Norway. We obtain that relatedness is highly relevant in explaining regional specialization in RE, and more relevant than for other green technologies, which we associate to the lower generality in their impact and the narrower scope of the knowledge from which they nurture. This conclusion is maintained when considering separately regions with high and low development levels. However, the impact of relatedness increases for RE as the regional economic development decreases, signalling that a low endowment of resources and capabilities does not allow the region to break from its past technological specialization, depending more on relatedness. This would not be the case for other green technologies, probably due to their higher level of generality and wider scope.