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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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Hauber & Chantal Ruppert-Winkel, 2012. "Moving towards Energy Self-Sufficiency Based on Renewables: Comparative Case Studies on the Emergence of Regional Processes of Socio-Technical Change in Germany," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-40, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:491-530:d:16914
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Poel, Ibo van de, 2003. "The transformation of technological regimes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 49-68, January.
    5. Pettigrew, Andrew M., 1997. "What is a processual analysis?," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 337-348, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Engelken, Maximilian & Römer, Benedikt & Drescher, Marcus & Welpe, Isabell, 2016. "Transforming the energy system: Why municipalities strive for energy self-sufficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 365-377.
    2. Funcke, Simon & Bauknecht, Dierk, 2016. "Typology of centralised and decentralised visions for electricity infrastructure," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 67-74.
    3. McKenna, Russell & Herbes, Carsten & Fichtner, Wolf, 2015. "Energieautarkie: Definitionen, Für- bzw. Gegenargumente, und entstehende Forschungsbedarfe," Working Paper Series in Production and Energy 6, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Industrial Production (IIP).
    4. van der Schoor, Tineke & Scholtens, Bert, 2015. "Power to the people: Local community initiatives and the transition to sustainable energy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 666-675.
    5. Kaan Ozgun & Ian Weir & Debra Cushing, 2015. "Optimal Electricity Distribution Framework for Public Space: Assessing Renewable Energy Proposals for Freshkills Park, New York City," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-21, March.
    6. Gailing, Ludger & Röhring, Andreas, 2016. "Is it all about collaborative governance? Alternative ways of understanding the success of energy regions," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 237-245.
    7. Hecher, Maria & Vilsmaier, Ulli & Akhavan, Roya & Binder, Claudia R., 2016. "An integrative analysis of energy transitions in energy regions: A case study of ökoEnergieland in Austria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 40-53.
    8. Destro, Nicola & Benato, Alberto & Stoppato, Anna & Mirandola, Alberto, 2016. "Components design and daily operation optimization of a hybrid system with energy storages," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 117(P2), pages 569-577.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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