User innovation, niche construction and regime destabilization in heat pump transitions

Martiskainen, Mari, Schot, Johan and Sovacool, Benjamin K (2021) User innovation, niche construction and regime destabilization in heat pump transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 39. pp. 119-140. ISSN 2210-4224

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Download (977kB)
[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (4MB)


Domestic heating systems require a rapid shift to low-carbon options to meet global climate targets. We analyse a heat pump transition in two contrasting case studies: Finland and the United Kingdom, utilizing original data from interviews, document analysis, and archival online data. Finland has an almost completed transition, while the United Kingdom can be considered a stalled one. Building on previous research that has highlighted the importance of context, policy and users in transitions, we explore various user roles within low-carbon transitions, and how they shape processes of niche construction and regime destabilisation. Our findings show that the role of users is one key explanatory element of the different heat pump transitions. We also find that specific characteristics of a transition context can influence the types of users that emerge. We conclude that instead of just providing incentives, policy should also aim to mobilise users.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: users, renewable energy, heat pumps, low-carbon transitions, Finland, United Kingdom
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2021 07:53
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 14:01

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
INNOPATHS -Managing Technology TransitionG2118EUROPEAN UNION730403