Global innovation system life-cycles: country-level entry, innovation and leadership in wind turbine manufacturing
Conference contribution, 2017

The greatest prospects for survival and industry leadership in a new growth industry largely accrues to early entrants. This has been described at the level of the firm in the literature on industry lifecycles, and at the level of countries in the literature on lead markets. Here, we perform a case study of the global wind turbine manufacturing industry at both country and firm level. We find that turbine markets were indeed dominated by the earliest of manufacturing firms for some time, but that waves of new entrants from the second half the nineties onwards have taken increasingly large shares of the market. These successful late entrant firms, however, did all originate from early entrant or early follower countries. Late entrants from late adopter countries have been altogether unsuccessful. It appears that the accumulated localized experience in early adopter countries provides a beneficial development environment for domestic manufacturers, in early as well as later phases of global industry development.


Jorrit Gosens

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Björn Sandén

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Fredrik Hedenus

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

The 8th International Sustainability Transitions Conference

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Energy Systems