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Technological paradigms and transition paths : the case of energy technologies

Objective

The project examines how a general transition away from technologies involving the emission of greenhouse gases may be effected.

The study assumes that the policy problem of moving away from hydrocarbon-based technologies and the associated green house gas emissions is a matter of changing from one major technological paradigm to another. A "technological paradigm" refers to the whole complex of scientific knowledge, engineering practices, process technologies, infrastructure, product characteristics, skills and procedures, which make up the totality of a technology.

The project refines what is known about large-scale technological shifts, and applies the results to the policy problems involved in the change of basic energy technologies.

The project consists of three parts :

i) a theoretical component conceptualizing the paradigm shifts;

ii) a historical component describing past paradigm shifts in the use of energy technologies, likely factors involved in the role of public policy ;

ii) an applied component which analyses the diffusion paths of new environment-friendlier energy technologies and explores policy measures to encourage this.

The project identifies the elements of the policy required to bring about a shift from green house gas emitting technologies and thus helps to illuminate one of the components necessary for the transition to sustainability.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF MAASTRICHT
Address
49,Tongersestraat 49
6200 MD Maastricht
Netherlands

Participants (2)

NORWEGIAN COMPUTING CENTER
Norway
Address
23,Gaustadalleen 23,
0134 Oslo
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
United Kingdom
Address
Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester