Analysis and Reconstruction of Social Decision-Making Process for the Introduction of Sustainable Technologies for Transport and Energy Sectors – Focusing on Car Sharing Cases

Research Project , Research Report 2003

Hideaki SHIROYAMA Graduate School of Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo
Tatsujiro SUZUKI Central Electricity Research Institute, Graduate School of Law and Politics, the Univ. of Tokyo
Masaru YARIME NISTEP, MEXT(Former Research Associate, Research Center for Advanced Economic Engineering, University of Tokyo)

Abstract

We tried to identify factors which facilitate the process of developing and introducing sustainable technologies, especially paying attention to the uncertainty related to technology, information and learning effects related to cost and other elements, and “Technological Lock-in” related to infrastructure development. Based on the analysis, government policy instruments and methods of social consensus building were evaluated. To explore the complex phenomena, case studies have been conducted on the development and diffusion of the car sharing, hybrid car, and compressed natural gas vehicle. Factors which have been identified as important include the development and maintenance of generic technologies, cost, physical infrastructure, and soft infrastructure such as regulations and linkages to policy structures. Importance of soft infrastructure and social consensus building strategies for dealing with that should not be underestimated.
Keywords: government policy, corporate strategy, institution, generic technology, niche management, car sharing, hybrid car, compressed natural gas vehicle