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Transition and transformation: A review of the concept of change in the progress towards future sustainable energy systems

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Abstract

It seems generally accepted that change will occur in global energy systems. There also appears to be consensus on the kinds of changes that may possible for the future, even though there may be disagreement over the exact mix of technologies and policies needed to increase sustainability or mitigate climate change. The terms transition and transformation have both been used to denote the type of change needed in large socio-technical systems. However, the terms have been used both in contradiction of each other and synonymously by different authors. A comprehensive review of both theory and usage in scientific publications was conducted to determine if the terms have been used to denote fundamentally different concepts and if the concept of change is framed differently by usage so as to affect understanding. Despite two camps being readily identifiable, it was concluded that the terms generally refer to the same fundamental concept. At the same time, framing of the concept can be viewed as somewhat different, resulting in a potential for confusion on the part of the reader that may detract from achieving the outcome of change. It is suggested that change to physical forms and systems be denoted as transformations, and that changes to large socio-technical systems be denoted as transitions when the focus is on a higher order of change that highlights the ways that society motivates, facilitates, and benefits from change.

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... Over the past few decades, a vast literature on ETs and related subjects has accumulated (see Markard et al 2012, Araújo 2014, Sovacool 2014, Child and Breyer 2017 al 2019 for comprehensive reviews). Although the term 'energy transition' is now widely used, as Sovacool (2014) states in his article, the framing and definition of ETs is ambiguous in the existing literature. ...
... Although the term 'energy transition' is now widely used, as Sovacool (2014) states in his article, the framing and definition of ETs is ambiguous in the existing literature. Child and Breyer (2017) conducted a comprehensive survey on the definition and usage of the terms 'transition' and 'transformation,' and suggest that the term 'transition' is used more frequently in comprehensive discussions of economic and sociopolitical aspects of changes. Table 1 lists 11 definitions of 'energy transition' we find in the literature, sorted by the citation counts on Google Scholar of the publication in which the definition is found. ...
... As Child and Breyer (2017) suggest, the concept of ET also refers to a complex development of economic, social and political regimes associated with shifts in technologies. The history of economic development reveals the relationship between ETs and broader social economic changes. ...
Article
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We develop an evidence map of the academic research on energy transitions (ETs) with a focus on what that literature says about public policy for addressing climate change. In this article, the questions we ask are: What trends do we see in the topics that occur in journal articles on the energy transition? And to what extent has public policy been a focus? Where do we need or see energy transitions happening? Our approach involves: (1) using two literature databases to identify 4875 relevant ET articles over the period 1970–2018; (2) identifying important topics within ET using topic modeling via latent Dirichlet allocation on the abstracts of the articles; and (3) conducting a robustness check on the topics and analysis on the policy-relevant topics. This study contributes to the ETs research by providing the first systematic overview of peer-reviewed articles on ETs. We find that the number of academic articles covering ETs has increased by nearly a factor of 50 since 2008, 67% of them are policy related. Research on governance is pervasive in the literature and contains multiple topics differentiated by substantive foci. Some topics on the social-technical, social-behavioral, and political aspects of transition governance are becoming increasingly popular. Network analysis shows transition governance, energy economics and climate implications, and energy technologies comprise the three largest clusters of topics, but we observe a lack of connectedness between governance topics and technology topics. In the policy-relevant literature, we see a growing number of articles on technological and institutional innovation, and examples from leader countries, especially in Europe. We find only a quarter of articles discussed ETs in developing countries, which is not aligned with a recurring theme, their importance to the global ET.
... The feasibility, viability and sustainability of a 100% renewable electricity system is comprehensively discussed in literature on global [4][5][6], international (e.g. European level by [7][8][9][10]), and national scale [11,12]. However, the intermittent nature of weather-dependent or volatile RES (vRES) leads to an increasingly fluctuating electricity supply and induces a higher demand for power system flexibility, on both supply and demand side. ...
... Due to techno-economic restrictions, the theoretical maximum DR potential is not available throughout a whole year in one hour. The hourly dispatch of these DR potentials is optimized against countryspecific electricity prices (thus DR is price taking) 11 . Due to this optimization, the pattern of the hourly availability of the technical DR potential is strongly impacted by the residual load and particularly by the RES feed-in of the two scenarios and their influence on electricity prices. ...
... [16,45]). 11 Hourly DR potentials for the decentralized and centralized scenario are derived with the eLOAD model in the REFLEX project [16] (cf. Tab. ...
Article
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... The availability, development and consumption of energy deeply affect all walks of our daily lives. Given a myriad of challenges and technological advancement, the energy system has been constantly evolving and transforming [1], which requires compatible adjustments in energy policies. Such policy adjustment, however, is often met with strong local opposition from concerned groups. ...
... When pre-tested, the survey took an average of 10 min to complete. 1 Residents in three U.S. regions serve as the sample for the study. We sampled residents in Burlington, Vermont, a city that has transitioned to 100% renewable energy, Houston, Texas, a city with present and historical ties to the oil industry and an emerging solar industry, and in Saline County, Illinois, a county in southern Illinois with a long history of coal mining. ...
Article
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Given a myriad of challenges and technological advancement, the energy system has been constantly evolving and transforming, which requires compatible adjustments in energy policies. For regions with highly diverse energy sources, such as the United States, it’s important to not only analyze public perceptions of various energy sources, but also examine relative levels of support for energy transition policies. We examine public perceptions of two energy sources, coal and solar energy, as well as the public’s support for energy transition policies that assist the transition from coal to renewable energy, specifically solar. To better understand how place influences attitudes and policies of coal and solar, we sampled respondents from three areas with varying ties to coal and solar: Saline County, IL, Houston, TX, and Burlington, VT. Our results suggest that one’s place has an important effect in differentiating the public perceptions of renewable and nonrenewable energy and for support in an energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. While residents of places with historical attachment to coal mining have positive attitudes toward coal, our data show that they have even more positive attitudes toward sustainable energy sources. These attitudes hold for future development and government assistance. If federal or state governments seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (and consequently energy from coal, a major source of greenhouse gases), solar and other sustainable energy policies need to be targeted at places with historical ties to coal and other fossil fuels to ensure a procedurally just energy transition.
... Within this context, the words 'transition' and 'transformation', respectively indicating the physical manifestation related to a change and the process of large socio-technical systems change, need to be better understood [13]. In this respect, energy policies play a relevant role in facing various problems: the high emission levels coming from high energy consumption [14]; The need to support economic development by sufficient energy availability, which is incompatible with the previous point [15]; The existing fragmentation of energy and environmental policies, which lack of appropriate integration [16]; The need to reconsider an energy justice framework [17]. ...
... How to move towards a sustainable future for energy? Policy-makers are already transposing into policies the need of a transition toward a more sustainable energy system [13]. Several challenges, shortly summarized in Table 8, were identified. ...
Article
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Energy is the main driver of human Social-Ecological System (SES) dynamics. Collective energy properties of human SES can be described applying the principles of statistical mechanics: (i) energy consumption repartition; (ii) efficiency; (iii) performance, as efficient power, in relation to the least-action principle. International Energy Agency data are analyzed through the lens of such principles. Declining physical efficiency and growth of power losses emerge from our analysis. Losses mainly depend on intermediate system outputs and non-energy final output. Energy performance at Country level also depends on efficient power consumption. Better and worse performing Countries are identified accordingly. Five policy-relevant areas are identified in relation to the physical principles introduced in this paper: Improve efficiency; Decouple economic growth from environmental degradation; Focus on high value added and labor-intensive sectors; Rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption; Upgrade the technological capabilities. Coherently with our findings, policies should support the following actions: (1) redefine sec-toral energy distribution shares; (2) Improve Country-level performance, if needed; (3) Reduce intermediate outputs and non-energy final output; (4) Reduce resources supply to improve eco-efficiency together with system performance.
... Energy transitions broadly refer to processes that entails changes from one form, style, state, place or scale of energy system to another (Melosi 2010, Sovacool 2016, Child and Breyer 2017. They are often accompanied by some form of energy system transformation in form, nature, appearance and character (often for the better), occurring at different scales within municipal, sub-national, national and international levels requiring multi-modal analysis at different scales (Geels and Kemp 2006, Child and Breyer 2017, Duan et al 2019. ...
... Energy transitions broadly refer to processes that entails changes from one form, style, state, place or scale of energy system to another (Melosi 2010, Sovacool 2016, Child and Breyer 2017. They are often accompanied by some form of energy system transformation in form, nature, appearance and character (often for the better), occurring at different scales within municipal, sub-national, national and international levels requiring multi-modal analysis at different scales (Geels and Kemp 2006, Child and Breyer 2017, Duan et al 2019. Indeed, social dimensions such as knowledge, motivation, norms, values and other contextual factors also impact the scope, speed, or scale of energy transitions (Steg et al 2015), especially transformative ones that challenge incumbent regimes (Stirling 2019, Kanger et al 2020. ...
Article
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The energy landscape is changing dramatically. It is populated by many different and discrete energy transitions happening simultaneously in across different sectors, with dynamically different drivers, and across varying locations. This Perspective proposes a new three-part categorization to help better understand the myriad socio-technical changes being witnessed, which cut across user and market behaviour as well as institutions and technologies. We express energy transitions in three categories: Interim energy transitions, shaped by policies without necessarily public acceptance, mostly within non-democratic regimes. Deliberate energy transitions, driven by citizen-driven change without supporting policies. Transformative energy transitions stem from a combination of policy and citizen-driven change. The degree of permanence of these three transition types depends on the real and perceived benefits to energy users, sustained adoption of technology, and the regulatory regime
... Sustainability transition research is an interdisciplinary approach to analyze and support the societal processes and interactions that lead to large-scale, nonlinear changes in social, technological, and institutional (sub)systems such as energy, transportation, or water (Chappin and Ligtvoet 2014;Geels 2005Geels , 2006Hölscher et al. 2018;Loorbach et al. 2017;Rotmans et al. 2001). While there is still considerable refinement underway in the literature (Child and Breyer 2017;Hölscher et al. 2017), a sustainability transition is typically described as process that leads to large-scale, structural changes in social, ecological, and technical systems, and has potential to lead to regime shifts over time (Farrelly and Brown 2011;Geels 2011). Transitions do not occur from a single event, but from multiple forces acting over extended periods of time (i.e., decades), although focusing events such as a crisis or a policy window may accelerate the change. ...
... In addition, we expanded the boundaries of sustainability transitions literature by including well-established constructs from attitude theory. This latter point is important to address the critique that the transition literature risks being dominated by a small scientific network, leading to excessive cross-referencing and lack of integration with broader scientific fields (Child and Breyer 2017). ...
Article
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This article presents an integrated theoretical model, drawing from sustainability transition research and attitude theory, to explain public perceptions of urban water sustainability transitions and public support for transformational water-management strategies. We test the model with empirical data from a random-sample residential survey in three cities in the western United States dependent on Colorado River water: Phoenix, Arizona, Denver, Colorado, and Las Vegas, Nevada. As one of the most heavily managed and over-allocated transboundary river systems in the world, sustainable water management of the Colorado River is critical to the future of the region. Cities face increasing pressure on water resources as population, development, and uncertainty about the future increase. While a growing number of scholars focus on sustainability transitions, a few studies focus explicitly on the role of the public as fundamental actors. This is despite the acknowledgement that public support may constrain or enable transitions and that major societal changes will affect the public in numerous and critical ways. We hypothesize that environmental orientation, procedural knowledge, perceived personal responsibility, trust in government, and socio-economic resources predict public perceptions of the need for transitions and public support for transformational water-management strategies. We use ANOVA to identify differences between cities, and confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling to evaluate the conceptual model. Results provide partial support for the hypothesized model and the findings replicate across cities. The findings suggest several policy implications for basin-wide and city-scale water management in the Colorado River basin.
... Poverty in the world needs to be tackled [3,4] for a still growing world population [5]. The only pathway to manage all these different major problems is a transition [6] towards a fully sustainable energy system, one that is able to cover accelerated growth in demand for energy. ...
Article
The global energy system has to be transformed towards high levels of sustainability in order to comply with the COP21 agreement. Solar photovoltaic (PV) offers excellent characteristics to play a major role in this energy transition. The key objective of this work is to investigate the role of PV in the global energy transition based on respective scenarios and a newly introduced energy transition model developed by the authors. A progressive group of energy transition scenarios present results of a fast growth of installed PV capacities and a high energy supply share of solar energy to the total primary energy demand in the world in the decades to come. These progressive energy transition scenarios can be confirmed. For the very first time, a full hourly modelling for an entire year is performed for the world, subdivided in 145 sub-regions, which is required to reflect the intermittent character of the future energy system. The model derives total installed solar PV capacity requirements of 7.1–9.1 TWp for the electricity sector (as of the year 2015) and 27.4 TWp for the entire energy system in the mid-term. The long-term capacity is expected to be 42 TWp and, because of the ongoing cost reduction of PV and battery technologies, this value is found to be the lower limit for the installed capacities. Solar PV electricity is expected to be the largest, least cost and most relevant source of energy in the mid-term to long-term for the global energy supply.
... In the transitions debate (Geels and Schot 2007;Child and Breyer 2017), it has been argued that innovation needs to be transformed for sustainability (Leach et al. 2012). In African countries, several drivers are driving energy innovation: 1) addressing energy poverty (Agbemabiese, Nkomo, and Sokona 2012;Day, Walker, and Simcock Deliberative foresight for a neo-carbon innovation ecosystem Deliberative foresight Foresight builds upon futures studies with a systematic futures orientation, as a study of several alternative futures, not as an art of prediction (Amara 1981). ...
Article
Foresight is a pragmatic futures studies approach as structured debate about future-related topics. Deliberative foresight addresses stakeholders affected by specific futures. This paper goes beyond a low-carbon strategy to present the potential of futures based on renewable energy. In the neo-carbon energy system, high shares of solar, wind, and other renewables are used, and carbon dioxide from the air is used as a source for synthetic products such as plastics, chemicals and medicine. As transitions are about technological and social change, a neo-carbon energy innovation ecosystem, consisting of actors at multiple levels, is envisioned. To represent the present ‘direction’ of Kenya's energy transition, four renewable energy approaches and projects are examined. A conceptual model, which consists of deliberative foresight, innovation ecosystems thinking, transformative potential and sustainability, is then introduced. To study emerging energy transformations, historical assumptions and conventional approaches to development and scenario-making need to be challenged. This paper claims that deliberative foresight and a systemic approach to innovation can enable African countries to examine how their economies and energy systems can be transformed into emissions-free, efficient, low-cost, and sustainable. Our approach emphasizes inclusive innovation, broad-based socio-economic benefits, and minimizing environmental harm.
... The first attempts to address energy security in a renewable energy world are emerging [16][17][18], but few efforts to date capture the true complexity to reach or sustain such a future society. A growing body of literature examines energy transitions to understand energy landscape changes [19][20][21]. This includes studies on a 100% renewable energy system as a neo-carbon energy system [14,15]. ...
Article
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... 11Fuel consumption for transport in Finland. ...
Article
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Renewable energy sources (RES) are playing an increasingly important role in energy markets around the world. It is necessary to evaluate the benefits from a higher level of RES integration with respect to a more active cross-border transmission system. In particular, this paper focuses on the sustainable energy transitions for Finland and Italy, since they have two extreme climate conditions in Europe and quite different profiles in terms of energy production and demand. We developed a comprehensive energy system model using EnergyPLAN with hourly resolution for a reference year for both countries. The models include electricity, heat and transportation sectors. According to the current base models, new scenarios reflecting an RES increase in total fuel consumption have been proposed. The future shares of renewables are based on each nation’s potential. The outcomes of the new scenarios support the future national plans, showing how decarburization in an energy system can occur in relation to the European Roadmap 2030 and 2050. In addition, possible power transmission between Italy and Finland were investigated according to the vision of an integrated European energy system with more efficient cross-border activities.
... The snapshot in time when capturing a quantitative social value measure forgets all which has come before, and what is to come. If looking at development of social value over time the quantitative measures offer clear points that assume transition has occurred between, but with no clear qualitative explanation of how this has happened (Child and Breyer, 2017) or which actors have taken a role in shaping it ( Wittmayer et al., 2017)? ...
... Poverty in the world needs to be tackled [3,4] for a still growing world population [5]. The only pathway to manage all these different major problems is a transition [6] towards a fully sustainable energy system, one that is able to cover accelerated growth in demand for energy. ...
Conference Paper
The global energy system has to be transformed towards high levels of sustainability for executing the COP21 agreement. Solar PV offers excellent characteristics to play a major role for this energy transition. Key objective of this work is to investigate the role of PV for the global energy transition based on respective scenarios and a newly introduced energy transition model developed by the authors at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The available energy transition scenarios have no consensus view on the future role of PV, but a progressive group of scenarios present results of a fast growth of installed PV capacities and a high energy supply share of solar energy to the total primary energy demand in the world in the decades to come. These progressive energy transition scenarios can be confirmed by the LUT Energy system model. The model derives total installed solar PV capacity requirements of 7.1 – 9.1 TWp for today's electricity sector and 27.4 TWp for the entire energy system in the mid-term (year 2030 assumptions set as reference). The long-term capacity is expected to be 42 TWp and due to the ongoing cost reduction of PV and battery technologies, this value is found to be the lower limit for the installed capacities. The cost reductions are taken into account for the year 2030, but are expected to further proceed beyond this reference year. Solar PV electricity is expected to be the largest, least cost and most relevant source of energy in the mid-to long-term for the global energy supply.
... In 2019, the European Green Deal was adopted to deal with numerous climate and social problems [47]. It assumes that high and growing energy efficiency should be accompanied by energy transformation (increasing the share of renewable energy in total energy consumption [48,49]. In CEE countries, government programs actively support the development of green energy and these actions have already brought some tangible results. ...
Article
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In the conditions of climate change and the scarcity of natural resources, the future of energy is increasingly associated with the development of the so-called green energy. Its development is reflected in the European Commission strategic vision to transition to a climate-neutral economy. This is a challenge that the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, members of the EU, are also trying to meet. In recent years, these countries have seen an increase in the share of renewable energy and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GGE). On the other hand, basing the energy sector on unstable energy sources (photovoltaics and wind technologies) may imply new challenges on the way to sustainable development. These are old problems in a new version (ecology, diversification of supplies) and new ones related to the features of renewable energy sources (RES; instability, dispersion). The aim of the article was to classify, on the basis of taxonomic methods, the CEE countries from the point of view of green energy transformation (original indicator) and to predict new threats to Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria, the countries representing different groups according to the applied classification. The issues presented are part of a holistic view of RES and can be useful in energy policy.
... Also, on shorter time blocks, the monthly, weekly, daily and hourly electricity prices all have substantial volatility, due to fluctuations in electricity demands and by varying supplies from different energy sources. As a result, it could be better to switch to hydrogen production, based upon the electricity generated in a nuclear power plant to create an improved revenue stream (Cany et al., 2016;Child and Breyer, 2017). ...
Article
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With more renewables on the Swedish electricity market, while decommissioning nuclear power plants, electricity supply increasingly fluctuates and electricity prices are more volatile. There is, hence, a need for securing the electricity supply before energy storage solutions become widespread. Electricity price fluctuations, moreover , affect operating income of nuclear power plants due to their inherent operational inflexibility. Since the anticipated new applications of hydrogen in fuel cell vehicles and steel production, producing hydrogen has become a potential source of income, particularly when there is a surplus supply of electricity at low prices. The feasibility of investing in hydrogen production was investigated in a nuclear power plant, applying Swedish energy policy as background. The analysis applies a system dynamics approach incorporating the stochastic feature of electricity supply and prices. The study revealed that hydrogen production brings alternative opportunities for large-scale electricity production facilities in Sweden. Factors such as hydrogen price will be influential and require in-depth investigation. This study provides guidelines for power sector policymakers and managers who plan to engage in hydrogen production for industrial applications. Although this study was focused upon nuclear power sources, it can be extended to hydrogen production from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
... In its broadest sense, an energy transition refers to a process of changing from one form of energy system, supply, or demand to another [12][13][14][15]. One of the more established definitions is that energy transitions entail a change in fuels and associated technologies, such as switching from the use of fuel wood to petroleum products or changing from steam engines to internal combustion engines [16]. ...
Article
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.
Article
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German hard coal production ended in 2018, following the termination of subsidies. This paper looks at 60 years of continuous decline of an industry that employed more than 600,000 people, through a case study comparing Germany’s two largest hard coal mining areas (Ruhr area and Saarland). Although predominantly economic drivers underlay the transitions, both provide valuable lessons for upcoming coal phase-outs induced by stricter climate policies, including beyond Germany. The analysis identifies the main qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the two regions. It then discusses policy instruments implemented to guide the transition, including measures for the conservation of coal production, regional economic reorientation, and the easing of the transition’s social impacts. The success of these policies is evaluated using economic, social, and geographical indicators that were developed within three interdisciplinary research projects running from 2016 to 2019. A key lesson from the examined case studies is the importance of combining not only policies addressing unemployment and the attraction of new energy corporations and investments, but also measures improving infrastructure, education, research facilities and soft location factors. Protecting a declining industry for decades caused increased transition costs compared to an earlier phase-out. Economic reorientation and changing regional identities have proven most difficult in the past. However, the German example illustrates that the complexity of the challenges of a transition can be mastered if city, regional, and national governments and institutions cooperate in a polycentric approach. Key policy insights • A faster and more pro-active hard coal mining phase-out in Germany would have been much less expensive and paved the way for new industries • A just and in-time transition needs to: • be jointly managed in a polycentric approach by city, regional, national, and international governments and institutions. • combine climate, energy, social, and structural policies, whilst recognizing both local specifics and global connections. • consider long-term effects, external independent advice apart from the incumbent regime and beyond-border thinking, while aiming to diversify the economy and enabling broad stakeholder participation. • address unemployment, the economy, and the energy system, as well as measures to improve infrastructure, universities, research facilities, and soft location factors.
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O Planejamento Energético Urbano é a integração entre o Planejamento Energético e o Planejamento Urbano, é um processo e, ao mesmo tempo, uma estratégia importante para abordar muitos problemas e oportunidades fundamentais relacionados à Urbanização, Planejamento Energético, Sustentabilidade e Mudanças Climáticas. A primeira menção ao Planejamento Energético Urbano é de 1978 e o primeiro trabalho publicado que cita o Sistema de Energia Urbano data de 1991. Ainda assim, há pouca literatura que busca avançar na construção teórica da definição e da harmonização dos conceitos de Planejamento Energético Urbano e de Sistemas de Energia Urbanos. Pesquisadores da área argumentam que o desenvolvimento de tais conceitos pode levar à redução da demanda de energia, das emissões de poluentes e de gases de efeito estufa, bem como pode conduzir a mudanças mais profundas, tais como a busca pela diminuição das injustiças sociais e ambientais, a melhoria da qualidade de vida da população urbana e a transição do sistema de energia urbano vigente para outro de baixo carbono e/ou sustentável. A presente pesquisa tem como objetivos principais investigar o conceito do Planejamento Energético Urbano e demonstrar a inter-relação/interdependência das Políticas do Planejamento de Energia e Planejamento Urbano, a fim de determinar seus possíveis impactos. Para tanto, foi adotada a abordagem de pesquisa quali-quantitativa, exploratória, cujos dados são desagregados, bottom-up e multicriteriais. Um total de 29 estratégias e soluções de Planejamento Urbano e de Planejamento Energético foram selecionadas e simuladas, usando o modelo LEAP_SP, para visualizar o futuro sistema energético e urbano de São Paulo (2014-2030) e para quantificar as possíveis sinergias da implementação do Planejamento Energético Urbano. Essas estratégias foram simuladas em quatro cenários: C_REF (taxas históricas), Estratégias de Políticas Energéticas (C_PE), Estratégias de Políticas Urbanas (C_PU) e Estratégias de Políticas Energética e Urbana (C_PEU). Com o exercício de modelagem realizado, foi verificado que a atuação em Planejamento Energético Urbano pode impactar positivamente a diminuição da demanda de energia e emissões de poluentes e de gases de efeito estufa, e no aumento da geração de energia localmente com recursos endógenos e renováveis. Com isso, diminui-se a dependência em relação a recursos energéticos externos às cidades, aumentando a segurança energética e melhorando também a qualidade de vida dos habitantes das áreas urbanas. Como contribuições desta pesquisa, destacam-se o estudo epistemológico sobre os termos Planejamento Energético Urbano e Sistemas de Energia Urbanos, a proposta de harmonização para o conceito de Planejamento Energético Urbano, o desenvolvimento de estrutura científica que possibilita a análise das sinergias de atuação em Planejamento Energético Urbano (Matriz de Soluções Integradas de Estratégias de Planejamento Energético e Planejamento Urbano), que por sua vez foi utilizada no estudo de caso da megacidade de São Paulo, através do desenvolvimento do modelo LEAP_SP (2014-2030).
Chapter
This chapter purposefully studies citizen engagement in alternative grid management schemes in the two largest cities of Germany, Berlin and Hamburg. In qualitative case studies from Berlin and Hamburg, it explores how community energy actors disrupt and (re)interpret systems of energy distribution. The chapter presents the community energy projects in Berlin and Hamburg and discusses the changes to the political, material and symbolic infrastructure of energy systems in Germany's two largest cities. The cases of Berlin and Hamburg present examples of community energy projects as movements of energy transition, the simultaneous and interrelated change in social and technical infrastructures; rather than energy transformation, a shift in technology. The Berlin and Hamburg cases of citizen engagement in infrastructure design and decision‐making showcase how closer proximity to energy infrastructures in renewable systems intersects with stronger claims of voice and inclusion in related decision‐making processes and revenue streams.
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This journal, Debates in Post-Development & Degrowth: Volume 1, published in collaboration with Tvergastein, emerges from the conversations, thinking, and course papers of the Spring 2021 course Debates in Post-Development & Degrowth at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, Norway. The University of Oslo (UiO) and, particularly, SUM – as we will discuss below – continues to sit at an important juncture between rejecting and embracing the ideology of “sustainable development” and “green growth.” This journal seeks to discuss this history, struggle, and (lack of) debate. The enthusiasm of students, eager participation, and their critical engagement with the course material inspired the making of this journal, which provided students with a publication outlet to air their thoughts, concerns, provocations – and, overall, join this rapidly evolving conversation. Here, we offer exciting new papers and engagements that have undergone editorial and literal peer review by staff and students. The journal’s intention is to not only widen engagements in the post-development conversation, but also expand the political thought and practice at SUM, which includes academic debates concerning the problems of development, resistance, so-called “energy transition” and, most of all, the propagation of the green growth myth.
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Determinant factors of the Romanian energy systems’ transformation processes include both positive and negative ones. The former refer to European integration, creation of the Single Energy Market, the important number of clients/consumers, the energy systems’ performances - the first economic structure integrated with the European ones -, the existing primary energy resources etc. The latter include the lack of a coherent domestic industrial policy and the vulnerability of decision makers facing external pressures. The Romanian electricity generation structure has modified during the last 23 years. The main coordinates comprise: a continuous reduction, nearly to extinction, of the main generation company's share of the electricity market; atomization of the generation sector; privatization of five from eight existing distribution companies; creation of the supply segment; and, last but not least, the electricity price liberalization. The paper analyses some of the contradictory tendencies in over 20 year late history of the Romanian energy system and draws a series of possible measures to implement in order to counteract the negative results.
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This essay explains and illustrates how the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies of the Political Science Department of the University of Hawaii at Manoa conceives of and uses "alternative futures". The design and conduct of a "futures visioning process," of which experiencing "four generic alternative futures" (continuation, collapse, discipline, transformation) and envisioning preferred futures are essential parts, is described in some detail.
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Energy systems are undergoing significant change. Many countries have ambitions to increase the share of renewable energy in their energy mix. This development entails the challenge of incorporating an increasing amount of volatile energy supply and a higher number of energy providers on distribution grid level. The smart grid could be a solution for this challenge. However, the implementation of smart grid technologies is rather slow. In this paper, we examine which barriers exist for the implementation of smart grid technologies. Fourteen in-depth expert interviews were conducted and qualitatively analysed using the grounded theory approach. First, a dynamic definition framework of the term “smart grid” was developed that incorporates contextual factors. Second, barriers to the implementation of smart grid technologies were gathered. We identified (1) cost and benefit, (2) knowledge, and (3) institutional mechanisms as barrier categories. Third, policy implications were derived. We recommend (1) the acceptance of a diversity of solutions, (2) the acceptance of incremental change, (3) the implementation of a stable regulatory framework, (4) the alignment of interests of individual market participants with the entire system, (5) the definition of a suitable scope of regulations, and (6) the collection of problem-specific information.
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The impact of our energy systems on the climate mandates an energy system transition. In this paper a combination of existing concepts and approaches to take on such transitions is discussed. This combination starts with first defining the unit of analysis, after which actors in the socio-technical energy system are charted through literature research and interviews. Next, using social network analysis, regimes and niches are identified to depict the unit of analysis in a more useful manner for managing transitions. The step hereafter consists of creating internal and external scenarios based on critical uncertainties to insure transition management efforts against uncertainty in and outside the unit of analysis. Moving to transition management, robustness analysis is then used to evaluate strategies and policies in all combinations of these internal and external scenarios to get to an optimum set of strategies and policies which are used to form a normative scenario. This will be used to get stakeholders behind the transition effort. This combination of approaches and concepts is used in the case of the Republic of Panama. It results in a clear overview of the energy system, impediments and opportunities regarding transition, possible futures, and the validity of strategies and policies in different scenarios.
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Macro- and sectoral-decomposition analyses were conducted using emission reduction scenarios from a global energy-system model. Emission reduction scenarios with targets of 550 ppm CO2eq and 450 ppm CO2eq, which consider variations in short-term emission fixes, up until 2030, based on extensions of the Copenhagen pledges, were selected from the AMPERE scenarios. All of the assessed emission reduction scenarios are technologically feasible through radical transformations in energy systems. Within the power sector, improvement of CO2 intensity requires wide deployment of carbon-dioxide capture and storage, nuclear power, and renewable energies. In end-use sectors, not only energy intensity improvements but also CO2 intensity improvements must be achieved by switching from fossil fuels to decarbonized energy by means of CO2 intensity improvements on the energy supply side. The feasibility of improvements in CO2 and energy intensities differs between sectors according to the types of mitigation options employed. The required carbon prices are $183/tCO2 for the 550 ppm CO2eq target and $645/tCO2 for the 450 ppm CO2eq target. When the short-term emission reduction is fixed at the level set by extensions of the Copenhagen pledges, long-term emission reductions by 2050 are more difficult to achieve because rapid and radical transformation of energy systems is required between 2030 and 2050.
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Highlights ► In order to achieve the multiple objectives of the energy system transformation, implementation of a large number of systems changes would need to begin today. ► Integrated policies in aid of these objectives can have important synergies. ► Formulating a long-term vision with respect to the energy system is important, given the critical importance of the energy system for societal objectives and the inertia around making the required transformation. ► A key element of such a transformation is scaling up and redirecting investments with respect to deployment and RD&D into directions indicated by the long-term vision.
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This research studies the low carbon transition of the electric power sector in China using a multi-level perspective (MLP) of niches, socio-technical regime, and landscape, as well as literature on innovation systems. Three lines of thought on transition process are integrated in the paper to probe the possible transition pathways in China. A MLP analysis is presented to understand the current niches, regime, and landscape of China’s power sector. A brief analysis on the future macroscopic socio-economic transition in the process of industrialization, urbanization, and modernization of Chinese society and its implication on power landscape are depicted to prove the urgency and magnitude of transition in China and why systematic transition management is needed. Five transition pathways, namely reproduction, transformation, substitution, reconfiguration, de-alignment/re-alignment, and reconfiguration, with their possible technology options are presented. The paper goes further to propose an interactive framework for managing the transition to a low carbon energy system in China. Representative technology options are appraised by employing innovation theory to indicate the logic of policymaking within the framework. Institutional gaps in realizing the transition are also addressed. The work presented in the paper will be useful in informing policy-makers and other stakeholders and may provide references for power sector transition management in other countries.
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A number of ‘roadmapping’ activities are being carried out internationally with the aim of planning and facilitating transitions to hydrogen energy systems. However, there is an evident discrepancy between the treatment of quantitative and qualitative information in the majority of roadmapping efforts. Whilst quantitative information is frequently analysed in numerical and computational models, conversely qualitative information tends to be incorporated on a significantly more ad hoc basis. Previous attempts at incorporating qualitative considerations have not usually been systematised. In this paper we present a methodology aimed at increasing the rigour with which qualitative information is treated in hydrogen roadmapping activities. The key changes and actor mapping (KCAM) methodology was developed as the primary qualitative component of the European Hydrogen Energy Roadmap project ‘HyWays’. KCAM, developed from a well known general systems development model, constitutes a means of qualitatively analysing variable hydrogen supply chains that is structured, systematic and flexible.
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This paper describes a hybrid modelling approach to assess the future development of China's energy system, for both a “hypothetical counterfactual baseline” (HCB) scenario and low carbon (“abatement”) scenarios. The approach combines a technology-rich integrated assessment model (MESSAGE) of China's energy system with a set of sector-specific, bottom-up, energy demand models for the transport, buildings and industrial sectors developed by the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London. By exploring technology-specific solutions in all major sectors of the Chinese economy, we find that a combination of measures, underpinned by low-carbon power options based on a mix of renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, would fundamentally transform the Chinese energy system, when combined with increasing electrification of demand-side sectors. Energy efficiency options in these demand sectors are also important.
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In 2009, Jiangsu province of China supplied 99.6 percent of its total energy consumption with fossil fuels, of which 82 percent was imported from other provinces and countries. With rising energy demand, frequent energy shortages, and increasing pollution, it is essential for Jiangsu to put more emphasis on improving its energy efficiency and utilizing its renewable resources in the future. This paper presents the integrated energy pathway for Jiangsu during its social and economic transformation until 2050. EnergyPLAN is the chosen energy system analysis tool, since it accounts for all sectors of the energy system that needs to be considered when integrating large-scale renewable energy. A current policy scenario (CPS) based on current energy policies and an ambitious policy scenario (APS) based on large-scale integration of renewable energy and ambitious measures of energy efficiency improvement are proposed. The two energy pathways are modeled and compared in terms of technology combination, non-fossil fuel shares of primary energy supply, socioeconomic costs, and CO2 emissions. The insights from these pathways can provide valuable input for Jiangsu's future energy policies.
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The transformation of the energy supply in Germany (the “Energiewende”) as described in the German Federal government’s ‘Energy Concept’ (Energiekonzept, 2010) is based on a political consensus about long-term targets for energy efficiency and renewable energies. The aim of this article is to present a consistent scenario for this transformation process reflecting the long-term implementation of renewable energies and the possible future structure of the German energy system as a whole. Structural and economic effects of this development are derived and discussed. It summarizes results of scenario analyses done by the department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment of the German Aerospace Center as part of a three-year research project for the German Federal Ministry for the Environment. The underlying study provides a detailed data base reflecting a long-term roadmap for the energy system transformation in Germany. The scenarios show that the policy targets are consistent and can be achieved, if appropriate policy measures are to be implemented. The economic analysis shows the amount of investments and the strong market dynamics required for new generation technologies but also the huge economic benefits that can result from this development path in terms of fuel cost savings and lower fuel imports.
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This paper describes initial analysis of branching points on a set of transition pathways to a UK low carbon electricity future by 2050. As described in other papers in this special issue, we are exploring and analysing a set of core transition pathways, based on alternative governance patterns in which the ‘logics’ of market actors, government actors and civil society actors, respectively dominate. This core pathway analysis is enhanced by analyses of branching points within and across the pathways, which informs how competition between different logics plays out at key decision points. Branching points are defined as key decision points at which choices made by actors, in response to internal or external stresses or triggers, determine whether and in what ways the pathway is followed. A set of initial branching points for our three core transition pathways is identified through project and stakeholder workshops, and drawing on analysis of actors’ choices and responses at past branching points in energy system transitions. The potential responses of the actors are identified at these branching points, and risk mitigation strategies are formulated for the dominant actors to reinforce that pathway, as well as opportunities for actors to move away from the pathway.
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Modern cities depend on energy systems to deliver a range of services such as heating, cooling, lighting, mobility, communications, and so on. This article examines how these urban energy systems came to be, tracing the major transitions from the earliest settlements through to today's fossil-fuelled cities. The underlying theme is “increasing efficiency under constraints” with each transition marked by increasing energy efficiency in service provision, increasing per capita energy use, increasing complexity in the energy system's structure, with innovations driven by a strategic view of the overall system, and accompanied by wider changes in technology and society. In developed countries, the future of urban energy systems is likely to continue many of these trends, with increased efficiency being driven by the constraints of climate change and rising fuel prices. Both supply and demand side technologies are discussed as potential solutions to these issues, with different impacts on the urban environment and its citizens. However in developing countries, rising urban populations and access to basic energy services will drive the next transition.
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This paper explores whether consumer-focused green electricity tariffs can incentivize investment in the transition to a decarbonized energy system. Green electricity tariffs are a means by which ‘green consumers’ can contribute to investment in renewable energy and energy sector transition. In order to conceptualize factors constraining the adoption of green electricity tariffs this paper develops a model that links the willingness-to-pay (WTP) literature with the established innovation diffusion literature. This concern arises from a need to reconcile the large disparities that have been empirically observed between the proportion of households actually adopting green electricity tariffs and the proportion in WTP surveys that claim they would (stated-willingness-to-adopt or SWA). Using the Bass Model as the point of departure our model depicts how increasing consumer environmental concern, driven by word-of-mouth and mass media communication channels, results in an increasing proportion of households with a SWA. The presence of response bias and the free rider problem result in ‘feasible adoption’ being below the SWA. Feasible adoption is, in turn, differentiated from actual adoption by the extent of market imperfections, such as the supply side problems and regulatory failures often discussed in the empirical literature.
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Energy future studies can be a useful tool for learning about how to induce and manage technical, economic and policy change related to energy supply and use. The private sector has successfully deployed them for strategic planning, examining key parameters such as markets, competition and consumer trends. However in public policy, most energy future studies remain disconnected from policy making. One reason is that they often ignore the key political and institutional factors that underpin much of the anticipated, wished-for or otherwise explored energy systems developments. Still, we know that institutions and politics are critical enablers or constraints to technical and policy change. This paper examines how analytical insights into political and institutional dynamics can enhance energy future studies. It develops an approach that combines systems-technical change scenarios with political and institutional analysis. Using the example of a backcasting study dealing with the long term low-carbon transformation of a national energy system, it applies two levels of institutional and political analysis; at the level of international regimes and at the level of sectoral policy, and examines how future systems changes and policy paths are conditioned by institutional change processes. It finds that the systematic application of these variables significantly enhances and renders more useful backcasting studies of energy futures.
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The transformation of existing systems is an underexposed topic in large technical systems (LTS) research. Most LTS research has focused on the emergence and stabilization of systems, ending with momentum. But how is momentum overcome, and how do transformations come about? This article presents a multilevel perspective to understand such transformations, using insights from STS and evolutionary economics. The multilevel perspective is illustrated with a longitudinal case study of the Dutch highway system (1950 to 2000).
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The paper highlights the energy dilemma in China’s modernization process. It explores the technological and policy options for the transition to a sustainable energy system in China with Tsinghua University’s Low Carbon Energy Model (LCEM). China has already taken intensive efforts to promote research, development, demonstration and commercialization of sustainable energy technologies over the past five year. The policy actions cover binding energy conservation and environmental pollution control targets, economic incentives for sustainable energy, and public R&D supports. In order to achieve the sustainable energy system transformation eventually, however, China needs to take further actions such as strengthening R&D of radically innovative sustainable energy technologies and systems such as poly-generation, enhancing the domestic manufacturing capacity of sustainable energy technologies and systems, creating stronger economic incentives for research, development, demonstration and commercialization of sustainable energy technologies, and playing a leading role in international technology collaborations.
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Increasing the efficiency by which energy is extracted or captured, converted, and utilized not only requires the improvement of current technology and the development of new transformative ones, but also paying much more attention to improving coherent governance of energy efficiency institutions. I am suggesting that the transformation of energy systems is unlikely to succeed without the transformation of the way these institutions are designed. The paper proposes a framework that builds on concepts encompassing three principal identifiers of coherent institutional governance – motivation, capacity, and interventions – to respond to the questions: What institutional arrangements emerge at different governance levels to promote energy efficiency as a policy? What are the challenges to achieve coherent governance in institutions? I used a case analysis method to test these identifiers at selected energy efficiency institutions that are perceived to display enabling conditions necessary for coherent governance.
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This paper first provides an overview of the context of renewable energy development in China, including the country's recent renewable energy legislation. Further, it summarizes the current status of renewable energy development and the role it plays in the national energy supply. Next it introduces the national indicative targets for renewable energies in 2010 and 2020, and conducts a long term scenario of the role of renewable energies in China's energy system transition till 2050. It discusses the main risks involved in China's renewable energy development, and proposes some policy measures for risk management.