Policy Intervention and Technical Change in Mature Industry: The Swedish Pulp and Paper Industry and the Biorefinery

Kersti Karltorp
Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Energy and Environment, Gothenburg, Sweden

Björn A. Sandén
Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Energy and Environment, Gothenburg, Sweden

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp110572331

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:7, s. 2331-2338

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Energy technologies based on biomass conversion are put forward as major means to curb climate change and enable a transition to a carbon neutral society. Many policies at international and national level are set up to support this transition. The pulp and paper industry is strongly linked to the conversion of biomass in Sweden and have a decisive role for the future of these technologies. This study aims to describe and explain the Swedish pulp and paper industry’s reaction to policy with regard to the development of biorefineries. It turns out that firms are developing along two technological trajectories; 1) gasification for fuel production with a business model similar to the current one and 2) separation and refining for production of high value products; which requires a modified business model. Firms are also repositioning themselves within the regime and across regime borders. We conclude that the regime is in a phase of fragmentation. The policy implications from this analysis are that effective policy intervention needs to consider that multiple signals that are affecting the regime and policies should be designed depending on what degree of regime fragmentation that is desirable.


Energy policy; Biorefinery; Pulp and paper industry; Multilevel perspective; Incumbent firm strategy


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