Reducing energy demand through low carbon innovation: a sociotechnical transitions perspective and thirteen research debates

Geels, Frank, Schwanen, Tim, Sorrell, Steven, Jenkins, Kirsten and Sovacool, Benjamin (2017) Reducing energy demand through low carbon innovation: a sociotechnical transitions perspective and thirteen research debates. Energy Research & Social Science, 40. pp. 23-35. ISSN 2214-6296

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (616kB)
[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (671kB)

Abstract

Improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in energy demand are expected to contribute more than half of the reduction in global carbon emissions over the next few decades. These unprecedented reductions require transformations in the systems that provide energy services. However, the dominant analytical perspectives, grounded in neoclassical economics and social psychology, focus upon marginal changes and provide only limited guidance on how such transformations may occur and how they can be shaped. We argue that a socio-technical transitions perspective is more suited to address the complexity of the challenges involved. This perspective understands energy services as being provided through large-scale, capital intensive and long-lived infrastructures that co-evolve with technologies, institutions, skills, knowledge and behaviours to create broader ‘sociotechnical systems’. To provide guidance for research in this area, this paper identifies and describes thirteen debates in socio-technical transitions research, organized under the headings of emergence, diffusion and impact, as well as more synthetic cross-cutting issues.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Nora Blascsok
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2017 13:39
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2018 12:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71652

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update