On accelerating the development of configurational innovation systems - the case of non-urban district heating in Germany
The decarbonizing the heat sector is a major challenge in the energy transition in Germany and elsewhere. District heating systems could play an important role in this context. However, the diffusion of the technology in Germany has been very slow. The paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the technological innovation system (TIS) to enhance understandings of the impediments to the diffusion of non-urban district heating systems. Due to its strong local context dependence, district heating can be understood as a configurational technology, and the TIS in which it is embedded as a configurational TIS. The paper contributes to the literature by developing policy suggestions that could lead to an acceleration of the diffusion of locally context-dependent technologies. The author recommends that policymaking in configurational TIS should aim at designing smart innovation system structures that can manage a high level of context specificity and facilitate vertical and horizontal knowledge exchange.
Wesche, Julius P.