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Energies 2017, 10(1), 36; doi:10.3390/en10010036

An Indicator-Based Approach for Analyzing the Resilience of Transitions for Energy Regions. Part I: Theoretical and Conceptual Considerations

1
Laboratory for Human Environment Relations in Urban Systems (HERUS), Swiss Mobiliar Chair in Urban Ecology and Sustainable Living, Institute of Environmental Engineering, ENAC, École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
2
Research and Teaching Unit in Human-Environment Relations, Department for Geography, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich (LMU), 80539 München, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefan Gößling-Reisemann
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 December 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience of Energy Systems)
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Abstract

The transition of our current energy system from a fossil-based system to a system based on renewables is likely to be one of the most complex and long-term societal transitions in history. The need for a fundamental system transformation raises the question of how to measure the continuing progress and the resilience of this process over time. This paper aims at developing the conceptualization and operationalization of resilience for energy systems in transition with regard to both social and technical aspects. Based on the resilience concept in social-ecological systems literature, we propose to conceptualize resilience for energy systems building on two core attributes of resilience, namely diversity and connectivity. We present an indicator set to operationalize these key attributes in social and technical systems using: (i) definitions and measurements for three fundamental diversity properties—variety, balance and disparity—and (ii) basic connectivity properties from the social network analysis literature—path length, centrality and modularity. Finally, we reflect on possibilities for an application of these indicators in the social and technical system’s spheres and discuss the added value of the approach for energy transition research. View Full-Text
Keywords: resilience; energy transition; socio-technical systems; social-ecological systems; diversity; connectivity resilience; energy transition; socio-technical systems; social-ecological systems; diversity; connectivity
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Binder, C.R.; Mühlemeier, S.; Wyss, R. An Indicator-Based Approach for Analyzing the Resilience of Transitions for Energy Regions. Part I: Theoretical and Conceptual Considerations. Energies 2017, 10, 36.

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