Energy transitions in an interdependent world: what and where are the future social science research

Venue: University of Sussex Conference Centre

Location: Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Feb 25, 2010 End Date/Time: Feb 26, 2010
Registration Date: Oct 30, 2009
Early Registration Date: Oct 30, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Aug 31, 2009
Paper Submission Date: Jan 29, 2010
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The Sussex Energy Group at SPRU (Science & Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex is organising and hosting an international conference to discuss and debate emerging research agendas in energy social science. The conference will be held at the University of Sussex on the 25th and 26th February 2010. and is open to academics, policy makers, industry and non-governmental organisations working in the field of energy transitions. We welcome abstracts that outline theoretically robust and empirically informed contributions to one or more of the following:

Low carbon energy innovation
• Lock-in, lock-out and path dependence: how do we understand the destabilization of existing energy systems and the build up of momentum around 'green' innovations?
• Distributed innovation, open source, user-led and grassroots innovation: how can new concepts from innovation studies be applied to energy systems?
• The role of firms, finance and energy business strategy in energy systems
• 'Long waves' in technical change, and the effects of global recession on energy investment.
• The roles of policy and the influence of different policy cultures in steering innovation and shaping innovation agendas.
• Technological innovation in developing countries and the shifting geography of low carbon energy innovation

Secure and resilient energy systems
• Different conceptualisations and challenges in energy system security
• What makes an energy system resilient, and how can resilience be assessed?
• Public policies for energy security- their effectiveness, shortcomings, synergies and trade-offs with other energy policy objectives.

The politics of sustainable energy transitions
• Redefining the role of government, policy and politics in energy transitions: the neo-liberal energy inheritance; governing hard and soft energy paths; different national energy policy styles and international coordination
• Analysing and reconciling policy objectives (e.g. low carbon, local pollution and habitats, wider sustainability, security, energy access/fuel poverty)
• Exploring notions and bases of legitimacy and accountability in sustainable energy governance, and addressing the political conflicts arising from redistributing resources away from carbon intensive activities and into low carbon futures
• Civil society, energy citizenship and transitions

Abstracts should not exceed 300 words in length and must be submitted electronically to Lee Stapleton on before 15th August 2009 using the designated application form. If you wish to attend the conference without presenting a paper, please note that you still need to complete the application form by this date. Authors of abstracts and other attendees selected by the committee to attend the conference will be notified no later than 15th September 2009. Registration forms and fees must be received by us no later than 30th October 2009. Authors should submit their full papers, not exceeding 8,000 words in length, by 29th January 2010. All papers will appear on the conference website and a conference CD. Authors will be asked to give an oral presentation, not exceeding 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes for questions.