Project

TIPPING+ Enabling positive tipping points towards clean-energy transitions in coal and carbon intensive regions

Goal: TIPPING+ will provide an empirical in-depth social science understanding of fundamental changes in sociodemographic, geographical, psychological, cultural, political, and economic patterns which give rise to Social-Ecological Tipping Points (SETPs), both positive and negative in relation to socio-energy regional systems. Such empirical and theoretical insights will shed new light on the interdependencies between changes in regional socio-cultural structures and the technological, regulatory and investment-related requirements for embracing (or failing to embrace) low-carbon, clean-energy and competitive development pathways in selected coal and carbon intensive case study regions (CCIRs). The overall goal is to understand why and under which conditions a given social-ecological regional system heavily dependent on coal and carbon-intensive activities may flip into a low-carbon, clean energy development trajectory – or on the contrary may fall into an opposite trajectory with all its negative implications. Towards this goal, main focus of TIPPING+ is the participatory co-production of knowledge on the driving forces and deliberate tipping interventions leading to the emergence of positive tipping points toward clean energy transitions in European CCIRs.

Date: 1 May 2020 - 30 April 2023

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Project log

Luis D. Virla
added a research item
Technological innovation is considered to be one of the key strategies to maintain the global temperature below 2 °C. Since emerging and low-income countries are now responsible for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Paris agreement, there is an implied need to balance their development mandate and climate change policies. This chapter highlights frugal eco-innovation as a means of providing basic needs while including the requirement to urgently address climate change in these regions. The characteristics of frugal and eco-innovation are explored to identify the appropriateness of technologies within the context of emerging and low-income regions. These characteristics are applied to demonstrate the economic and social benefits of the low-carbon technologies at the local level. Meanwhile, the eco-innovation’s characteristics demonstrate a potential for cascading positive impacts at a larger scale. Finally, the Alternative Pathways framework is applied to describe the trajectory of frugal eco-innovation through low-carbon narratives. This framework also helps to make explicit the dominating fossil fuel pathway and powerful actors while identifying alternative technology pathways and different (nondominating) actor groups that could potentially transform the rural energy system. Portable biogas is identified as a frugal eco-innovation that represents an alternative pathway which can potentially lead to wider transformation for the cooking energy sector in rural Indonesia. The innovation can create knock-on socioeconomic benefits for lower-income communities while contributing to GHG emission reduction at national level. This frugal eco-innovation process is led by the private sectors with the support of policy environment and acceptance and implementation at the local community level.
Serafeim Michas
added a project goal
TIPPING+ will provide an empirical in-depth social science understanding of fundamental changes in sociodemographic, geographical, psychological, cultural, political, and economic patterns which give rise to Social-Ecological Tipping Points (SETPs), both positive and negative in relation to socio-energy regional systems. Such empirical and theoretical insights will shed new light on the interdependencies between changes in regional socio-cultural structures and the technological, regulatory and investment-related requirements for embracing (or failing to embrace) low-carbon, clean-energy and competitive development pathways in selected coal and carbon intensive case study regions (CCIRs). The overall goal is to understand why and under which conditions a given social-ecological regional system heavily dependent on coal and carbon-intensive activities may flip into a low-carbon, clean energy development trajectory – or on the contrary may fall into an opposite trajectory with all its negative implications. Towards this goal, main focus of TIPPING+ is the participatory co-production of knowledge on the driving forces and deliberate tipping interventions leading to the emergence of positive tipping points toward clean energy transitions in European CCIRs.