Challenges ahead: Understanding, assessing, anticipating and governing foreseeable societal tensions to support accelerated low-carbon transitions in Europe

Bruno Turnheim, Joeri Wesseling, Bernhard Truffer, Harald Rohracher, Luis Carvalho, Claudia Binder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Addressing global climate change calls for rapid, large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies (RETs). Such an accelerated diffusion constitutes a new phenomenon, which challenges existing analytical approaches. The implied fundamental reconfiguration of energy systems will inevitably involve adjoining shifts in the structure of energy markets, the socio-cultural significance of energy and related rules and institutions-producing new societal tensions that are largely understudied. This chapter draws on insights from socio-technical, social-ecological and techno-economic systems studies to better understand, assess and support the exploration of low-carbon futures. We sketch out an agenda that encompasses four major tasks for governing the energy transition: i) a richer understanding of the dynamics of sociotechnical and social-ecological systems; ii) multidimensional assessments of prospective environmental, social and economic impacts of these transformations; iii) methods that enable actors to anticipate future impacts in their everyday innovation and decision practices; and iv) elaborate new governance arrangements to tackle the upcoming transformations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvancing Energy Policy
Subtitle of host publicationLessons on the Integration of Social Sciences and Humanities
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages145-161
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319990972
ISBN (Print)9783319990965
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Governance challenges
  • Innovation
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainability transition
  • Systems

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