Radhika Perrot, senior researcher in the Faculty of Knowledge Economy & Scientific Advancement (KESA) at MISTRA, was invited as a guest lecturer at Wits University on 03 October 2012. The lecture was targeted at students in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management with an elective on Technology and Management, and others with an interest in sustainability and innovation.
She presented on Innovation and Evolution of Renewable Energy Technologies: Exploring the link between technology, policies and firm strategies. The presentation was based on her previous work which looked at how, over the years since the first oil price shock of the 1970s, firms, governments and technologies have interacted to bring dynamic changes in the alternative energy industry. Each actor reacted to external changes in the environment and in others, and as a result of these interactions, changes were observed in the market of alternative energy technologies. With recent surges in oil prices and mounting pressures to reduce toxic gaseous emissions, both governments and firms have interacted with each other to move towards alternative energy solutions.
The nature of technologies is seeing a cross-sectorial participation of firms with different expertise and knowledge bases as exemplified in solar cell production, bio-fuels and hydrogen fuels. For example, solar cell technology is developing along its own technological trajectory but its advancement and movement is strongly integrated with the development path of the semiconductors and optical laser trajectories. Thus recent changes in the nature of technologies is allowing for the inclusion and combination of different science-based technologies like nanotechnology, laser and optical fibre technology and genetics.
*The book chapter appears in : Perrot, Radhika, 2008, Changing Configuration of Alternative Energy Systems, Eds: Duysters, G., W.Dolfsma and I.Costa (eds.), Multinationals and Emerging Economies: the Quest for Innovation and Sustainability, Edward Elgar
To download the chapter, please click below