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Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 491-530; doi:10.3390/su4040491

Moving towards Energy Self-Sufficiency Based on Renewables: Comparative Case Studies on the Emergence of Regional Processes of Socio-Technical Change in Germany

Centre for Renewable Energy, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
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Received: 28 February 2012 / Revised: 12 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 28 March 2012
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Abstract

The change of conventional energy systems to a system mainly based on renewable energies is occurring in many parts of the world. A processual analysis of three case studies from regions in Germany that are moving towards renewable energy self-sufficiency were conducted in order to better understand this process of socio-technical change. This paper scrutinizes the role of actors and their activities, which are driving the change of the local energy system. Three discrete distinguishable phases of this change were found: pioneer phase, pivotal network phase, and extended network and emerging market dynamic phase. Each phase can be characterized by the type of actor, their specific activities, artifacts involved, and their underlying motives. We suggest using the phase model as a heuristic instrument to identify the elements which shape socio-technical change. View Full-Text
Keywords: socio-technical change; energy system based on renewable energy; renewable energy; phase model; processual analysis socio-technical change; energy system based on renewable energy; renewable energy; phase model; processual analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hauber, J.; Ruppert-Winkel, C. Moving towards Energy Self-Sufficiency Based on Renewables: Comparative Case Studies on the Emergence of Regional Processes of Socio-Technical Change in Germany. Sustainability 2012, 4, 491-530.

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