Time Strategies, Innovation and Environmental Policy


Time Strategies, Innovation and Environmental Policy

9781845420901 Edward Elgar Publishing
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
Publication Date: 2005 ISBN: 978 1 84542 090 1 Extent: 384 pp
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.

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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.
Critical Acclaim
‘Time Strategies, Innovation and Environmental Policy is a straightforward book presenting an articulate view of the social institutions’ behaviour toward environmental problems. The theoretical perspective is clearly articulated and the case studies well described. While is should be considered a very technical book, it may be suggested as an interesting read for economists interested in evolutionary economics, but also for political scientists looking for an innovative view of economic relations and the socio-political sphere.’
– Chiara Certoma, Environmental Politics

‘I found this book interesting and enlightening; not only because it is refreshing change to traditional environmental economic literature but also because it is a very different approach to the diffusion of innovation frameworks that I have used in my own business-based research. . . This book should appeal to students of history, policymakers and environmental entrepreneurs. Given the major environmental decisions that are needed to counter climate change, this book provides valuable insights into factors affecting the possible acceptance or rejection of proposed policy changes. . . I found this book interesting and compelling reading. . . I liked the framework developed in this book as it covers many of the practical and common sense aspects of innovation successes.’
– Don Kerr, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management

‘The book is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the history of technological competition that involves new environmentally improved technologies, as well as for students of environmental economics or innovation studies in general. The study provides accurate case studies of environmental problems and technology solutions, their success and failure.’
– Maïder Saint-Jean, The Electronic Jounal of Evolutionary Modeling and Economic Dynamics

‘Timeliness is a particularly relevant issue in the field of innovation and diffusion research. This book originates from the observation that innovations are time critical and asks the question: when and how do windows of opportunity for new environmental technologies emerge and why do they disappear again? By analysing these windows of opportunity and possible time strategies for innovation policies, this book represents a highly topical contribution to a front line issue in environmental and innovation research. The theoretical framework is applied to well-investigated and highly informative case studies to produce an interesting, insightful and coherent volume.’
– Joseph Huber, Martin-Luther-University, Halle, Germany
Contributors: G. Erdmann, T. Franke, R. Kemp, J. Nill, C. Sartorius, J. Tiessen, D. Weiner, S. Zundel
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
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