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Towards a sustainable grid development regime?: A comparison of British, Norwegian, and Swedish grid development
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
2015 (English)In: Energy Research and Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, Vol. 9, 17QC 20151111-187 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Currently, huge investments are being made in the electricity infrastructure in Europe. However, one third of the European grid investments are delayed, even though the majority of the population in Europe is in favour of a greener energy mix. This paradoxical situation is connected to the fact that although interdependent, the production and transportation sides of renewable energy sources are treated as two distinct processes. The two types of infrastructure undergo separate processes for development consent and are the target of opposition from various citizen groups. In this article we compare the British, Norwegian, and Swedish grid development regimes in order to analyse their opportunities and challenges. The comparison demonstrates that the regimes differ on significant aspects, e.g. different historical trajectories, technological setups, arguments, and main drivers. The article highlights the importance of achieving sustainable energy systems by relying on a sensible strategy for grid development, and the importance of moving beyond the focus on a sustainable, "green-fuelled" grid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 9, 17QC 20151111-187 p.
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174713DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2015.08.011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84945470727OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-174713DiVA: diva2:868507
Note

QC 20151111

Available from: 2015-11-11 Created: 2015-10-07 Last updated: 2017-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Enabling socio-technical transitions – electric vehicles and high voltage electricity grids as focal points of low emission futures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Enabling socio-technical transitions – electric vehicles and high voltage electricity grids as focal points of low emission futures
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today humankind is facing numerous sustainability challenges that require us to question CO2 intensive practices like those present in the transport and energy sector. To meet those challenges, many countries have adopted ambitious climate targets. Achieving such targets requires an understanding of the wider socio-technical context of transitions. The aim of this licentiate thesis is therefore to analyse such socio-technical transitions towards low-emission futures enabled by the electrification of passenger cars and high voltage grid development.

A combination of different transitions theories (for ex. Multi-level perspective and Technological innovation systems) and institutional theory has been used. To reach the aim paper I analyses the climate impacts of electric vehicles (EVs) and policy measures to achieve a breakthrough scenario for EVs. The results show that a mixture of short and long term policies are needed that take into account the technology development stage and behavioural aspects of EV adopters. Paper II addresses the need to include the high voltage transmission grid and its planning procedures as a central part of debates on transitions. Therefore the opportunities, challenges and reasons for conflict in the established regime are studied. The results show that in order to achieve a sustainable grid development regime, it is necessary to spend time on achieving legitimacy and social sustainability. The third paper uses semi-structured expert interviews and focuses on innovation dynamics for EV adoption. By focusing on dynamics instead of single policy measures, it is possible to grasp interactions within a niche, but also in between a niche, regime and landscape. The results show that strong initial technology legitimacy was needed to start substantial innovation dynamics. This could be further strengthened with a strong and broad coalition of actors. Both those factors led, if present, to an improved variety and match of policy instruments.

As such this thesis has shown that transitions are not just about technology or policy instruments as such but about the dynamics and processes needed to enable them. This can be relevant in other transitions that otherwise may underestimate the importance of these components.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 30 p.
Keyword
Socio-technical system, innovation system, transition, MLP, TIS, low emission future, electric vehicles, high voltage transmission grid, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary History of Technology Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies) Energy Systems Transport Systems and Logistics Infrastructure Engineering Economic History
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206973 (URN)978-91-7729-438-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-06-14, L52, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Norstrat
Funder
Nordic Council of Ministers
Note

QC 20170512

Available from: 2017-05-12 Created: 2017-05-11 Last updated: 2017-05-15Bibliographically approved

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