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The internationalisation of green technologies and the realisation of green growth

Carvalho, Maria (2015) The internationalisation of green technologies and the realisation of green growth. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis investigates how the ‘spatialisation’ of green technologies influences opportunities to realise green growth from different industrial activities – an aspect of green growth which is currently underrepresented in the literature. The research compiles various datasets representing world-wide indicators of innovation and manufacturing, as well as interviews with researchers and industrial actors in different economies, to investigate the spatialisation of solar photovoltaic (PV) industries. The overarching purpose is to examine whether domestic economies need both innovation and manufacturing in order to supply green technologies. The thesis comprises of four standalone chapters (Chapter 2 to 5) that explore this question by applying evolutionary economic geography (EEG) theory on the concept of green growth. The first chapter (Chapter 2) develops a conceptual framework on how the spatialisation of technologies affects the composition of industrial activities in various economies. It argues the localisation of green innovation enables economies to be resilient to the loss in manufacturing. The second chapter (Chapter 3) demonstrates that both ‘first-mover’ and ‘late-comer’ economies contribute towards solar PV innovation, despite the majority of global manufacturing shifting to China. The third chapter (Chapter 4) finds patterns of research collaboration between different countries based on their respective innovation/manufacturing intensities. The last chapter (Chapter 5) explores how the presence (or absence) of domestic manufacturing influences actors’ commercialisation of different solar PV technologies. The findings seek to advance the competitiveness debate by recognising the tension between the internationalisation of green technologies and the realisation of green growth in domestic economies. First, it argues that economies realise long-term green growth by retaining highvalue activities that other economies cannot reproduce. Second, it recognises that an economy does not need both innovation and manufacturing to commercialise green technologies, but that the propensity to rely on local resources is influenced by the domestic industrial composition and the maturity of a technology. These findings emphasise that industrial policies should consider spatial characteristics in assessing whether domestic green technology supply and/or markets will lead to green growth in the domestic economy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Maria D. Carvalho
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Perkins, Richard

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