The world of 2000 ran largely on fossil fuels. The world of 2050 must—if we are to avoid catastrophe—run largely on clean energy. The problem of how to get from one to the other is a problem of transformation in a complex system with many interlocking parts. Technological and material innovation are certainly needed—and as Vaclav Smil (2010) argued, are complex in their own right—but innovation in business models, policy, social and political institutions, and perhaps even culture, is equally necessary. These social phenomena are nested within the global ecosystem, an even more complex system whose feedbacks and equilibrating mechanisms we only partially understood. Moreover, calling this a problem of systems transformation is misleading; in fact, it is a problem of systems transformations. Multiple possible transition pathways exist, each with different combinations of novel technologies and surrounding social and economic frameworks. Different jurisdictions will likely find their...
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February 01 2019
Finding Order in Chaos: Grappling with the Policy and Politics of Sustainable Energy Transition
Renewables: The Politics of Global Energy Transition.
Changing Energy: The Transition to a Sustainable Future.
University of California Press.
Clean Power Politics: The Democratization of Energy.
Cambridge University Press.
Online Issn: 1536-0091
Print Issn: 1526-3800
© 2019 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Global Environmental Politics (2019) 19 (1): 123–128.
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Nina Kelsey; Finding Order in Chaos: Grappling with the Policy and Politics of Sustainable Energy Transition. Global Environmental Politics 2019; 19 (1): 123–128. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/glep_a_00491
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