Energy transitions from the cradle to the grave: a meta-theoretical framework integrating responsible innovation, social practices, and energy justice

Sovacool, Benjamin K, Hess, David J and Cantoni, Roberto (2021) Energy transitions from the cradle to the grave: a meta-theoretical framework integrating responsible innovation, social practices, and energy justice. Energy Research and Social Science, 75. a102027. ISSN 2214-6296

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Abstract

An almost inexhaustible number of conceptual approaches has arisen in the past few decades to seek to explain the interlinked phenomena of energy transitions, low-carbon transitions, or sociotechnical change. With an eye for theoretical synthesis, this study asks: What do three particular epistemic communities—those concerning innovation, practices, and justice—say about energy transitions? What does this literature reveal about the injustices and inequalities of energy transitions? Finally, what can we learn by integrating aspects of this literature? The study answers these questions by drawing from responsible research and innovation, social practice theory, and energy justice approaches. Essentially the first is about the design of technology, the second how it is used, the third the broader societal and global implications. Taken together, the study offers an integrative framework capable of analyzing transitions from their “cradle” of design to their “life” of use to their “grave” of aftereffects. It explores the extent to which the three perspectives can be integrated into a meta-theoretical framework. This integrative framework is then applied to four diverse case studies: French nuclear power, Greek wind energy, Papua New Guinean solar energy, and Estonian oil shale.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: energy justice, sociotechnical transitions, sustainability transitions, climate justice, environmental justice
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 08:02
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 14:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/97825

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