The value creation of diffusion intermediaries: Brokering mechanisms and trade-offs in solar and wind power in Sweden
Abstract This paper focuses on diffusion-oriented innovation intermediaries (“diffusion intermediaries”), i.e. actors that function as brokers between technology adopters and the providers of resources needed to implement a new technology that is available more or less “off-the-shelf”. It investigates how such actors create value for adopters of new technologies as well as the trade-offs they face. An interview-based, qualitative survey of 14 Swedish consultants and project developers involved in solar PV and wind power reveals that diffusion intermediaries create value mainly through technology transfer and coordination of various actors throughout the planning and implementation of turnkey projects. There is evidence of trade-offs related to value capture as well as between different value dimensions (e.g. between quality control and legitimacy). These findings have important implications for the design of strategies and policies to leverage value creation and handle trade-offs to avoid negative effects on projects, companies, and the overall diffusion of cleaner technologies.