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A framework for analyzing deployment of solar photovoltaics, with a focus on building-sited grid-connected systems

  • Alvar Palm
  • Lena Neij
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper

Abstract english

Policy intervention schemes for increased deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV) have been launched in several countries, with varying success. In order to ensure an efficient deployment of the technology, thorough knowledge is needed about relevant present actors and institutions, and about how a desirable actor base and institutional setup should look like; mere cost reductions are not enough to guarantee deployment of a new technology. A framework that captures the systemic nature of technical change, i.e. the development and deployment of new technology, is the technological innovation systems (TIS) framework. The objective of this paper is to discuss how the TIS framework could be used to analyze policy for PV with a focus on deployment of grid-connected, building-sited PV systems. So far, little emphasis has been on using TIS for detailed analysis of deployment of new emerging energy technologies. The TIS framework has been used for analyzing market growth of new energy technologies including processes of deployment in parallel with processes of technology development and production. We argue that “upstream” parts of the PV value chain differ fundamentally from “downstream” parts in that “upstream” activities (e.g. production of purified silicon, wafers, and solar cells) can often be understood as pertaining to a global TIS, while “downstream” activities (system installation etc.) could generally be assumed to be part of a more local (or national) TIS, and we identify and discuss components and processes of the TIS that are of particular importance for deployment of PV.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Technological innovation systems (TIS)
  • solar photovoltaics (PV)
  • technological change
  • renewable energy.


IST 2012 - International Conference on Sustainability Transitions

International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Visiting Address: Tegnérsplatsen 4,Lund

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