Renewable energy

There are many interesting new developments in the area of renewable energy. In particular, Southern European countries have become leaders in the roll-out of renewable energy for electricity production. Even were concern for the environment, as measured by the Eurobarometer survey, has been supressed by other issues, countries such as Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Lithuania, with relatively low expressed environmental concern, were keeping up, in terms of renewable electricity production, with affluent and 'concerned' countries such as Germany and Iceland. The extreme, and pioneering, case was Denmark, with both extraordinarily high environmental concern and renewable electricity generation (see below). You can identify the other countries here.

 

Affluent Denmark is an outlier, too, with regard to the extent to which it manages to profit from its renewable energy boom by registering a large number of patents in that area. In the figure below we can see that in 2014  Denmark led in both renwable roll-out and patenting activity. The countries that immediately followed in terms of renewable roll-out could not replicate Denmark's patenting success. In contrast, Germany, an economic and engineering powerhouse, managed to file a relatively large number of patents per capita, while lagging behind the top performers in terms of renewable electricity (see below).

 

 

See here for patent / renewable electricity relations for other years.

In contrast to the patents domain, those who immediately follow Denmark in terms of renewable electricity roll-out, do manage to achieve robust middle field positions in terms of scholarly renewable energy publication per capita. Here, for example, Portugal, one of the renewable electricity leaders, manages to obtain a position ahead of Germany (see below). 

 

 

For Portugal, the roll-out of renewable electricity also seems to have helped to significantly amelioriate its heavy dependence on imported sources of energy. While the share of renewable electricity increased by over 20% between 2006 and 2016, energy dependence dropped by about 10% (see below). For other countries see here.

 

Back to renewable energy innovation system.