Innovation in the energy sector - Exploration of stimulating and limiting factors in an innovation system
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The purpose of this research is to identify factors that affect innovation and access to innovation funds in the energy sector. The research question is: Which changes in the Dutch and European energy policy are needed to increase innovation and access to innovation funds? The case under study is the Dutch Society for Renewable Energy (hereafter NVDE). Recommendations for the role of the NVDE are therefore also included in the research. This leads to an additional research question: How can the NVDE contribute to the solutions? The case consist of 53 members of the NVDE. Data is gathered via online-surveys and telephone interviews. Members perceive legal requirements and administrative procedures as the most pressing barriers. Mandatory collaboration and the duration of the application procedure are most often mentioned. Other problems encountered are the uncertainty of the Dutch innovation policy and the lack of innovation that reaching market implementation. An ideal energy policy has a long term strategy with prohibitions and obligations, facilitates equal competition between fossil fuel and renewable energy and has an innovation scheme that is adjusted to the energy policy. Suggested policy changes are the incorporation of prohibitions and obligations in the long term energy policy, facilitate equal competition and make innovation funds more realistic by the introduction of a follow-up subsidy scheme to avoid fade outs of innovations and replacing parts of the written application procedure by a pitch to avoid a skewed application procedure. The NVDE should influence national politics on the above mentioned topics. Furthermore it should inform and facilitate her members to alleviate some of the perceived barriers.