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Environmental Innovation in the Electricity Industry – Explaining Differences across National Industrial Innovation Systems

Sustained variation in environmental innovation between the state-owned electricity companies in Norway and Sweden, Statkraft and Vattenfall, has been documented. This project sets out to explain why this sustained variation appeared, investigating factors at the company, energy sector and national policy-making levels. At the company level, the factors investigated are general business strategies and innovation capabilities, impacting on the companies' general innovation opportunities. In addition, 'attention' to environmental problems and solutions is analysed as a third factor steering innovation capabilities in the direction of environmental improvement. At the industry level, the projects investigates whether variation in 'competition' played any role in providing incentives for innovation, and at the energy sector level, it investigates whether variation in clustering between complementary knowledge agents can contribute to the explanation. Finally, at the national policy level, the project investigates variation in integration of environmental policy into energy policy and the energy-industrial innovation policy pursued.

The project – which is at the base of FNI Research Fellow Per Ove Eikeland's doctoral dissertation – aims at testing and developing theoretical propositions from the industrial economics, innovation system and environmental management literature. The explanatory model constructed includes variables at the company level, the energy-industry level and the governmental policy-making level. The more practical purpose of the project is to contribute with knowledge about conditions needed for improvement of environmental qualities through innovation.

Project leader: Per Ove Eikeland

Project period: 2001-2016
 Related focal points of research:

   European energy and environmental politics

Project funding:

   The Fridtjof Nansen Institute
   BI Norwegian School of Management
   The Foundation of PM Røwde

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