Relations between entrepreneurs and incumbents in the transition to wind and solar energy technology within the Netherlands.
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In this research the development of the relations between actors involved in the technological transition to wind and solar energy technology is analyzed. This study analyzed why and/or what factors influenced the relations between the entrepreneurial and incumbent technology producers, technology users and the government in the transition to sustainable energy technologies. The research starts with a building a narrative of the developments of wind and solar energy technology and their utilization in the Netherlands. Important historical events derived from extensive literature review and interviews with experts are used to build these narrative. Secondly, the patterns of relationships and the change of these patterns between the actors involved in the transition to wind and solar energy technology are analyzed. Finally, the patterns of relationships and the change of these patterns between the involved actors in both cases are compared with each other. In general, the answer to the research question, ´how the relations develop between the entrepreneurs and incumbents´ is, there were no direct relations available between the entrepreneurs and incumbents. In both cases, the incumbents dominated the market in the predevelopment phase of the technology and the entrepreneurs significantly enter the market when the incumbents stopped their activities. The entrepreneurs step too late in a technological field abandoned by the incumbents due to unfavorable commercialization prospects. When the incumbents leave, the government starts to subsidize entrepreneurs in a not consistent way due political preferences. Therefore, the Dutch entrepreneurs start-up at a technological distance (lagging behind) with respect to foreign competitors with more advanced and better products.