Volume 93, Issue 2 Summer 2019 , pp. 379-395. “Green Innovation from the Global South: Renewable Energy Patents in Chile, 1877–1910”. Bernardita Escobar Andrae and Nelson Arellano Escudero

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S000768051900062X

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 July 2019

Abstract

This research note uses the case of nineteenth-century Chile to argue that the phenomenon of early green entrepreneurship was not confined to the United States and Europe. It focuses on Chile-based inventors who pursued intellectual-property protection in solar, tidal, wave motion, water flow, and wind power. The backgrounds and careers of these inventors are examined. The case contests the popular assumption that knowledge always originated in the developed North and flowed southward. Instead, at least in the case of renewable energy, knowledge emerged endogenously in Chile and sometimes even flowed northward. This research note argues that the circulation of knowledge was strongly linked to the mobility of individuals rather than to the mobility of patents between North and South.

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