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Moving towards Energy Self-Sufficiency Based on Renewables: Comparative Case Studies on the Emergence of Regional Processes of Socio-Technical Change in Germany

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Author Info

  • Jürgen Hauber

    ()
    (Centre for Renewable Energy, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany)

  • Chantal Ruppert-Winkel

    ()
    (Centre for Renewable Energy, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany)

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    Abstract

    The change of conventional energy systems to a system mainly based on renewable energies is occurring in many parts of the world. A processual analysis of three case studies from regions in Germany that are moving towards renewable energy self-sufficiency were conducted in order to better understand this process of socio-technical change. This paper scrutinizes the role of actors and their activities, which are driving the change of the local energy system. Three discrete distinguishable phases of this change were found: pioneer phase, pivotal network phase, and extended network and emerging market dynamic phase. Each phase can be characterized by the type of actor, their specific activities, artifacts involved, and their underlying motives. We suggest using the phase model as a heuristic instrument to identify the elements which shape socio-technical change.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (March)
    Pages: 491-530

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:491-530:d:16914

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: socio-technical change; energy system based on renewable energy; renewable energy; phase model; processual analysis;

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    1. Poel, Ibo van de, 2003. "The transformation of technological regimes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 49-68, January.
    2. Pettigrew, Andrew M., 1997. "What is a processual analysis?," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 337-348, December.
    3. Crevani, Lucia & Lindgren, Monica & Packendorff, Johann, 2010. "Leadership, not leaders: On the study of leadership as practices and interactions," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-86, March.
    4. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
    5. Carlsson, B & Stankiewicz, R, 1991. "On the Nature, Function and Composition of Technological Systems," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 93-118, April.
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