Kristina M. Lybecker

Abstract

Innovation is an inherently risky and uncertain process. Many of the broader challenges to innovation in general are both mirrored and exaggerated in clean technology innovation. The development of environmental technologies is further complicated by the public goods nature of knowledge, environmental externalities, and uncertainty. This study on clean technology focuses on recent work on the role of uncertainty, the participation of emerging and developing nations, the controversy surrounding intellectual property rights, and the variety of market actors and strategies in place. The paper also considers the policy instruments that are available, the cost, benefits and consequences of their use. As scholars continue to analyze when, where, why and how clean technology innovations are developed and adopted, it is essential that government policymakers aim to reduce uncertainty and risk, incentivize innovation with effective intellectual property rights, and foster transparency in the market. This continues to be a field of increasing future importance, and a rich area for continued academic study and analysis. Consumers, government policymakers and innovators would all benefit from a greater understanding of the process of technological change in the development, diffusion and financing of clean technologies.