Aligning Institutions and Technologies in Energy Systems

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This contribution addresses the alignment of technology and institutions in the energy infrastructure in the context of the ongoing transition towards sustainable energy systems. It illustrates the significance of technological and institutional change in this sector and the need to meet various societal norms, values, and expectations. Four critical functions are identified that need to be secured in order to safeguard the expected performance of energy infrastructures. A critical infrastructure framework is presented, indicating how to provide adequate support to these critical functions. It is argued that the different possible alignments of technological and institutional features determine the performance of an infrastructure. This should be taken explicitly into account when reforming an infrastructure. The critical infrastructure framework provides novel perspectives regarding how to approach responsible innovations in complex systems such as an energy infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy as a Socio-technical Problem
EditorsChristian Buscher, Jens Schippl, Patrick Sumpf
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Electronic)9781138735828
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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