Theorising governance and innovation in sustainable energy transitions
By: Matthew Lockwood, Caroline Kuzemko, Catherine Mitchell, Richard Hoggett – Energy Policy Group, University of Exeter
EPG Working Paper: 1304
Understanding why and how it is that some countries are able to implement policies which lead to deeper and faster change in sustainable practices and outcomes is an important step in enabling an acceleration in the transition to a sustainable energy future. This paper presents a tentative, provisional framework for analysing energy system transition, differential outcomes and the reasons for them. It suggests that energy system rules (in enabling or blocking change) and incentives (in making change economic or not) play an important role in shaping change. A provisional hypothesis is that the UK’s ability to make the transition to a sustainable energy system is constrained by the nature of its institutional system and policy paradigm; and because of this, a critical precondition for more innovation in the UK is the implementation of an appropriate governance system. A key insight is a need to understand ‘how and why’ policies are implemented, of ‘how and why’ changes in practices and outcomes are driven, and the links between the two. A provisional Theory of Managed Energy Transition is put forward that seeks to: firstly identify the linkages of politics, actors and agency to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of energy policy implementation and delivery; and secondly, relate these to changes in practice and outcomes.
Keywords: Change; Climate Change; Energy; Institutions; Sustainability; Transition
Date: July 2013
Download Paper: Theorising governance and innovation