Innovation Dynamics in the Development of Nuclear Energy and Electric Vehicles in France
Author(s)Doufene, Abdelkrim; Siddiqi, Afreen; de Weck, Olivier L.
Technological change is shaped by a confluence of processes that are governed by socio-political, economic, and regulatory factors within a region. In this paper we describe the transformation of the electricity generation system in France and the emerging changes in the transportation sector in the country. We trace the impact of national energy security policy in France after the 1973 oil crisis that catalyzed a shift from dependence on fossil fuel to nuclear power, and then examine the continuing impacts of that legacy that are now emerging through development and deployment of electric vehicles in the country. We examine the two cases of nuclear power and electric vehicles in France using processes of innovation, and discuss the interaction of these processes that formed reinforcing loops to advance these technologies in the country and highlight the role of sustained policy in initiating and driving the reinforcing cycles. We also discuss the issue of new emerging linkages between the electric power generation and transportation sectors that were traditionally decoupled due to use of different fuel sources. We expand the notion of path dependence, and discuss how established technologies in one sector can shape future technological trajectory in other sectors.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2014-12