Methodology to identify demand-side low-carbon innovations and their potential impact on socio-technical energy systems

Christina E. Hoicka, Runa R. Das, Yuxu Zhao, Maria Louise McMaster, Jenny Lieu, Susan Wyse

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Abstract

The rapid diffusion of demand-side low-carbon innovations has been identified as a key strategy for maintaining average global temperature rise at or below 1.5 °C. Diffusion research tends to focus on a single sector, or single technology case study, and on a small scope of factors that influence innovation diffusion. This paper describes a novel methodology for identifying multiple demand-side innovations within a specific energy system context and for characterizing their impact on socio-technical energy systems. This research employs several theoretical frameworks that include the Energy Technology Innovation System (ETIS) framework to develop a sample of innovations; the Sustainability Transitions framework to code innovations for their potential to impact the socio-technical system; the energy justice framework to identify the potential of innovations to address aspects of justice; and how characteristics of innovations are relevant to Innovation Adoption. This coding and conceptualization creates the foundation for the future development of quantitative models to empirically assess and quantify the rate of low-carbon innovation diffusion as well as understanding the broader relationship between the diffusion of innovations and socio-technical system change. The three stages of research are: • Contextualization: surveys and desk research to identify low-carbon innovations across the ETIS; • Decontextualization: the development of a codebook of variables • Recontextualization: coding the innovations and analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101295
Number of pages29
JournalMethodsX
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Demand-side
  • Diffusion of innovations
  • Energy justice
  • Energy technology innovation system
  • Energy transition
  • Innovation adoption
  • Low-carbon innovations
  • Methodology to identify demand-side low-carbon innovations and their potential impact on socio-technical energy systems
  • Socio-technical systems
  • Survey
  • Sustainability transitions

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