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n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Why radical innovations fail : the case of technological change in German coal-fired power plants

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Abstract

Radical innovations are frequently called for in order that the transformation of society to a system perceived as sustainable can succeed. The reason given for this is the greater environmental efficiency of these innovations. We review the hypothesis that radical innovations are superior to incremental innovations by taking the case of fossil fuel power plants in Germany. An ex-post analysis of the German R&D portfolio in the past three decades in the field of power plants environmentally shows that technologies which were radical innovations had great difficulties in becoming accepted by possible investors. The future potential of radical innovations in the field of power plant technology is to be regarded as relatively low, especially due to comparatively high cost-pressure, the reluctance of utilities to take risks and the temporal dynamics of technological progress facilitating incremental innovations on the basis of conventional reference technology.

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/content/aa_ajstid/2/1/EJC10531
2010-01-01
2019-11-22

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