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Developing the industrial capacity for energy transitions: resource formation for offshore wind in Europe


As energy transitions are moving from the formative phase of technology development and R&D to the acceleration or growth phase issues related to resource formation increase in importance. However, our understanding of resource formation processes to scale up new technologies has several gaps, perhaps reflecting that it is only recently that renewables such as solar PV and wind power have seen strong global growth. In this paper we address a type of resource formation that has received limited attention in the sustainability transitions literature to date: the development of industrial capacity to manufacture key components and deliver crucial services for renewable energy technologies to perform. Such upstream value chain elements are central to renewable energy cost reductions and political legitimacy because they provide new job and value creation opportunities for different regions and countries. Empirically we study the build-up of industrial capacity across European countries to supply the Northern European offshore wind market in the 2000-2019 period. We also develop aggregate industrial capacity scores at the country level, identifying both industry 'losers' and 'winners'. We provide explanations to the observed patterns by drawing on the sustainability and economic geography literatures.


Academic lecture


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 267951





  • SINTEF Digital / Technology Management
  • NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education
  • University of Oslo

Presented at

International Sustainability Transitions Conference 2021




05.10.2021 - 08.10.2021


Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI



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