45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Evolutionary economics offers clear insights into the mechanisms that underlie innovations, structural change and transitions. It is therefore of great value for the framing of policies aimed at fostering a transition to a sustainable development. This paper offers an overview of the main insights of evolutionary economics and derives core concepts, namely 'diversity', 'innovation', 'selection environment', 'bounded rationality', 'path dependence and lock-in', and 'coevolution'. These concepts are subsequently used to formulate guidelines for the role of the government and the design of public policies, such as the learning from historical technological pathways and the creation of an extended level playing field. In addition, the developments of certain energy technologies are examined in detail within the adopted evolutionary economics framework. Three particular technologies received attention, namely fuel cells, nuclear fusion, and photovoltaic cells.