Working paper

Understanding the European Union’s regional potential in low-carbon technologies

This research identifies existing and potential specialisation in green technologies in European Union regions, and proposes an approach to identify p

Publishing date
26 November 2020

This research identifies existing and potential specialisation in green technologies in European Union regions, and proposes an approach to identify policies that can help to realise this potential. Using the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s REGPAT database for regionalised patent data, we estimate the potential advantage European NUTS2 regions could have in 14 green technologies. We use network proximity between technologies and between regions to understand technological/regional clusters, and build the regressors for estimating potential regional advantage in specific technologies via zero-inflated beta regressions. We construct a dataset of lagged potentials and labour market, economic and demographic variables, and perform an elastic net regularisation to understand the association with current revealed advantages. Our approach indicates an association between technological advantage in green technologies in EU regions and participation rates in labour markets, sectoral employment in science and technology, general higher education, duration of employment, percentage of GDP spent on research and development (public and private), and other expenditure on R&D. If confirmed by causality tests, the established associations could help in designing horizontal economic policies to enable specific regions to realise their specialisation potential in specific green technologies.

Recommended citation:
Bergamini, E. and G. Zachmann (2020) ‘Understanding the European Union’s regional potential in low-carbon technologies’, Working Paper 07/2020, Bruegel

About the authors

  • Georg Zachmann

    Georg Zachmann is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, where he has worked since 2009 on energy and climate policy. His work focuses on regional and distributional impacts of decarbonisation, the analysis and design of carbon, gas and electricity markets, and EU energy and climate policies. Previously, he worked at the German Ministry of Finance, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the energy think tank LARSEN in Paris, and the policy consultancy Berlin Economics.

  • Enrico Bergamini

    Enrico worked at Bruegel as a research analyst.

    He is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics and Complexity at the University of Turin. He holds a BSc in Business and Economics from the University of Bologna and a MSc in Economic Policy from the University of Utrecht.

    His research interests include economics of innovation, climate change, and inequalities.

    Enrico is a native Italian speaker, is fluent in English and has a working knowledge of French.

Related content

Report

How it can be done

Rüdiger Bachmann, David Baqaee, Christian Bayer, Moritz Kuhn, Andreas Löschel, Ben McWilliams, Benjamin Moll, Andreas Peichl, Karen Pittel, Moritz Schularick and Georg Zachmann