Governance and Innovation in Polish Shale Gas: Institution Stretching and Conforming to Ch...
The first research seminar of the current academic year organized by the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, presented by Michael Carnegie LaBelle, Assistant Professor of Business and Sustainability at CEU Business School and at Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy on: Governance and Innovation in Polish Shale Gas: Institution Stretching and Conforming to Challenger Technologies
The aurora of renewable energy technology (RET) fighting against a fossil fuel regime is prevalent for explaining the lack of a sustainable energy system. This paper will first consider national innovation capacities fostering niche energy technologies. An important distinction will be observed between RET and carbon energy technology (CET) and whether the national innovation capacity influences deployment of both niche RET and CET. The common assumption is only RET deployment is stifled by dominant regime actors, however, the results from the Polish case study will demonstrate CET also becomes stifled by a national energy regime and the lack of an adequate national innovation capacity. Incumbent/challenger literature of the Multi-Level Perspective, provides a grounding to reflect on the role of governance, policy measures and perspectives in fostering a narrative around spaces of protection necessary to foster niche energy technologies, for both RET and CET. A brief case study of the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology by foreign and domestic oil and gas firms in Poland demonstrates the challenges for CET to conform to an existing carbon energy regime. The results demonstrate the incumbent/challenger relationship is not based on a dichromatic relationship of RET/CET but the established national innovation environment of a country. The results contribute to the starting hypothesis that the established (in this case the lack of) national innovative capacity affects both RET and CET technologies: State institutions that hold limited experience in flexibility or developing policies that push-pull technologies to commercialization, do not build spaces of protection, resulting in broader system rigidity and an inability to deploy newer RET or CET and transform an aging energy regime.
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