Global patterns of renewable energy innovation, 1990-2009

Patrick Bayer, Lindsay Dolan, Johannes Urpelainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
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Cost-effective approaches to mitigating climate change depend on advances in clean energy technologies, such as solar and wind power. Given increased technology innovation in developing countries, led by China, we focus our attention on global patterns of renewable energy innovation. Utilizing highly valuable international patents as our indicator of innovation, we examine the economic and political determinants of energy innovation in 74 countries across the world, 1990-2009. We find that high oil prices and domestic renewable electricity generation capacity both increase innovation. There is no effect for corruption, but our findings suggest that democratic institutions may contribute to innovation. The main implication of our work for policymakers is that increasing renewable electricity capacity in developing countries could significantly contribute to global innovation in renewable energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Issue number3
Early online date8 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2013


  • clean technology
  • environmental policy
  • innovation
  • patents
  • renewable energy


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