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Technological Change and the Environment by Arnulf Grübler

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Chapter 6

Inter-Firm Technology Spilloverand the “Virtuous Cycle” ofPhotovoltaic Development in Japan

Chihiro Watanabe, Charla Griffy-Brown, Bing Zhu,and Akira Nagamatsu

6.1   Introduction

Despite a locational disadvantage as a mid-latitude country, Japan has taken a leading role in world photovoltaic (PV) development. Two main factors have been critical to the successful development of PV technology in Japan. First, like semiconductors, PV technology is central to a complex web of related technologies and can therefore benefit from both learning effects and economies of scale. Second, because of the interdisciplinary nature of PV development, technology spillover benefits are high, in turn further stimulating learning effects (Watanabe 1997). ...

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