Paper: Policies, politics and demand side innovations

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Paper: Policies, politics and demand side innovations

Policies, politics and demand side innovations: The untold story of Germany’s energy transition

By: Caroline Kuzemko, Catherine Mitchell, Matthew Lockwood and Richard Hoggett

Published in: Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 28, June 2017, Pages 58–67


This article shines a light on a less examined aspect of sustainable energy transitions: governing for demand side innovations in Germany. Demand innovations are considered to be central to affordable, efficient and politically acceptable energy system transformations, however many argue that not enough is being done in governance terms. In a departure from much analysis on demand policy demand innovations are defined broadly here to explicitly include demand side response, demand reduction and distributed energy – given that each has important roles to play within demand-oriented markets. Demand governance is conceptualised as a long-term political process that is both contextually specific but also open to challenge and change at various points in time. The single case study is Germany where demand governance, recent changes in energy markets, and implications for how the politics of energy are changing are all analysed. This paper reveals the specific ways in which critical policy debates emerge over time and influence political decision-making; the ways in which these debates relate to changes in energy markets; as well as a lack of governance in relation to enabling demand side response and local energy markets.
Keywords: Demand side innovationsSustainable energy transitionsEnergy governance; Germany

The full paper can be accessed via:  Energy Research & Social Science (Free until June 14, 2017)

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