This paper aims to advance research into the effectiveness of policies for encouraging technological transition in the energy sector (in general) and wind power (in particular). It contends that the ineffectiveness of wind power development policy in most nations stems from a linear approach to policy design that is unsuited to complex adaptive markets. The paper argues that in complex adaptive markets, policies are required that foster competition on a level playing field. Insights are extracted from complexity theory to advance four principles for effective wind power policy in such markets. These principles include establishing policy initiatives to: encourage technological diversity, establish clear and progressive short to medium-term targets, enhance environmental monitoring systems and establish a malleable policy regime that directly resolves emergent challenges while simultaneously sustaining market momentum to ensure long-term targets are met. In order to demonstrate the applied relevance of these principles, the paper applies these concepts to a historical analysis of Denmark's wind power development policies.
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