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The Triple Challenge for EuropeEconomic Development, Climate Change, and Governance$
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Jan Fagerberg, Staffan Laestadius, and Ben R. Martin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747413.001.0001

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The Arduous Transition to Low-Carbon Energy

The Arduous Transition to Low-Carbon Energy

A Multi-Level Analysis of Renewable Electricity Niches and Resilient Regimes

(p.90) (p.91) 4 The Arduous Transition to Low-Carbon Energy
The Triple Challenge for Europe

Frank W. Geels

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the arduous transition to low-carbon electricity generation. The chapter first assesses global and European developments, addressing not only the expansion of renewable electricity capacity (wind, solar-PV, biomass) and city initiatives, but also the ongoing expansion of coal-fired power generation, the shale gas revolution, and nuclear power developments. Using the multi-level perspective (MLP), the chapter concludes that green niche-innovations face uphill struggles against existing regimes that are relatively resilient. Subsequently, the chapter concentrates on the UK to further analyse the resilience of existing electricity generation regimes, focusing on the strategic commitment of utilities and national government to gas, coal, and nuclear power. The chapter ends by discussing wider challenges such as the need to actively manage the decline of fossil fuels and the need to accelerate the speed of low-carbon transitions. Both topics require stronger roles for government and bolder policies.

Keywords:   socio-technical transitions, multi-level perspective, electricity, climate change, UK energy policy

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