Assessing the performance of energy innovation systems: Towards an established set of indicators
Journal article, 2018

Energy innovation is essential for tackling climate change. However, an established set of indicators, that can support policy makers in their design of policy mixes, has not been developed for evaluating the performance of energy innovation systems. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to list and classify a large set of indicators of the performance of energy innovation systems at sectoral and technological levels. 120 listed indicators are evaluated using four usefulness criteria, demonstrating significant weaknesses in the available indicators. The indicators are also classified according to an innovation process categorization to see if they cover all aspects of an innovation system along the entire innovation chain. In order to illustrate their application, the Nordic countries are selected for an analysis at the sectoral level, demonstrating a variety in the dynamics of energy innovation systems among these countries. At the level of an individual technology, we show how 90 indicators match the seven functions in a technological innovation system and how they, therefore, can guide policy by helping to analyze the strength of each function. Policy making may be further supported by an understanding of the dynamic relations between different indicators. Finally, recommendations for further research are given.

Technological innovation system



Energy innovation system


I. Miremadi

Sharif University of Technology

Y. Saboohi

Sharif University of Technology

Sharif Energy Research Institute (SERI)

Staffan Jacobsson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Energy Research and Social Science

22146296 (ISSN)

Vol. 40 159-176

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Energy Systems



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