Technology-forcing policies

However, policy intervention does not necessarily lead to either invention or adoption of more environmentally-benign technologies. First, as Gerard and lave (2005) point out, “it is not possible to force invention… technology forcing is an uncertain strategy with no guarantees of technological breakthroughs”. Secondly, there is a risk that technology-forcing can limit the scope of research and target the wrong technology, effectively locking in an inferior technology. Such considerations undermine the credibility of simple linear models of government policy for innovation, and highlight the importance of preserving technical diversity and allowing for knowledge spillovers.

Page 238 Kohler, Whitmarsh, Michie and Oughton in  Foxon, T, Kohler, J. and Oughton, C. (2008) Innovation For A Low Carbon Economy Economic, Institutional and Management Approaches Cheltenham: Edward Elgar


Gerard and Lave (2005) “Implementing technology-forcing policies:  The 1970 Clean Air Act Amendments and the introduction of advance automotive emissions controls in the United States. Technological Forecasting and Social Change

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