Researching the transition towards a low carbon society

International Workshop
23 November 2010, Aston University

On 23 November ACCIS held a workshop on the theme of ‘Researching the transition towards a low carbon society’ at Lakeside Conference. The event was well attended by academics from the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, and the UK. Speakers included Aston staff working on the CABLED and EBRI projects. Discussions focused on theoretical and empirical issues related to renewable energy provision, nuclear power, future scenarios of low carbon societies, transformation of infrastructures, smart grids and smart meters, and agriculture. A major point of concern were the challenges posed by ambitious climate change targets and ways of conceptualizing transition pathways which could lead to drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The theoretical concept of multi-level perspective was critically discussed, including core concepts such as technological niches, technological regimes, and landscapes. The participants discussed issues about reflexive governance and learning–for government, business and civil society. All talks were followed by lively debates and the delegates expressed an interest in future co-operation.

workshop programme

Speakers and Presentations

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Fred Steward
, Policy Studies Institute
Transformative innovation and socio-technical transitions – the challenge of purposive and systemic change toward a low carbon society

John Grin, University of Amsterdam
Reflexive design: rationale, approach, institutional aspects, examples 

Boelie Elzen, University of Twente
Reducing GHG emissions from the livestock sector: A learning and experimentation strategy
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Heiko Gebauer, Eawag
Strategic Innovation in Electricity Utilities: Insights from an absorptive capacity perspective
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Sudhakar Sagi, European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), Aston University
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Brian Price, Ultra Low Carbon Trials (CABLED Initiative), Aston University

Olivier Coutard and Jonathan Rutherford, LATTS, French National Centre for Scientific Research
Politicised energy transitions: the vicissitudes of urban energy policy in London, Paris and Stockholm

Timothy Foxon, Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds
Transition pathways to a low carbon electricity system in the UK: Exploring roles of actors, governance and branching points
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Keith Baker, University of Southampton 
Power Failures: Metagoverning a Revival of Nuclear Power in Britain

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Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research