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Pathways to the Hydrogen Economy: A Multidimensional Analysis of the Technological Innovation Systems of Germany and South Korea


The global trend towards decarbonization and the demand for energy security have put hydrogen energy into the spotlight of industry, politics, and societies. Numerous governments worldwide are adopting policies and strategies to facilitate the transition towards hydrogen-based economies. To assess the determinants of such transition, this study presents a comparative analysis of the technological innovation systems (TISs) for hydrogen technologies in Germany and South Korea, both recognized as global front-runners in advancing and implementing hydrogen-based solutions. By providing a multi-dimensional assessment of pathways to the hydrogen economy, our analysis introduces two novel and crucial elements to the TIS analysis: (i) We integrate the concept of ‘quality infrastructure’ given the relevance of safety and quality assurance for technology adoption and social acceptance, and (ii) we emphasize the social perspective within the hydrogen TIS. To this end, we conducted 24 semi-structured expert interviews, applying qualitative open coding to analyze the data. Our results indicate that the hydrogen TISs in both countries have undergone significant developments across various dimensions. However, several barriers still hinder the further realization of a hydrogen economy. Based on our findings, we propose policy implications that can facilitate informed policy decisions for a successful hydrogen transition.

Funding source: Parsa Asna Ashari gratefully acknowledges funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and BAM under “Aufbau einer APRA-Forschungsprasenz fu € ¨ r Sicherheitsforschung zur Wasserstoffsicherheit zwischen Deutschland und Su¨ dkorea”
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics

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