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How the policy mix impacts innovation: Findings from company case studies on offshore wind in Germany

Journal Article

Transforming the energy system to one with a greater importance of renewables requires redirecting and accelerating technological change. In this transition, so-called policy mixes play a crucial role. Yet precisely how policy mixes affect technological innovation remains poorly understood. To remedy this, in this study we choose a qualitative company case study approach to analyze the innovation impact of a comprehensive policy mix, taking offshore wind in Germany as research case. We find that the feed-in tariff level and the perceived consistency and credibility of the German offshore wind policy mix have been vital innovation drivers. Specifically, the consistent and stable policy strategy with its long-term targets, and the consistency of the instrument mix with this policy strategy appear crucial to RD&D. In contrast, adoption decisions depend on a comprehensive and consistent instrument mix. Finally, a high level of credibility can partly offset negative effects of inconsistencies in the mix.

Read more about our project on ‘Policy synergies and trade offs for low energy innovation‘.