Low Carbon Energy Transitions: Turning Points in National Policy and Innovation

ISBN : 9780199362554

Kathleen Araujo
402 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Sep 2017
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The world is at a pivotal crossroad in energy choices. There is a strong sense that energy use must be more sustainable. In addition, many also broadly agree that a way must be found to rely more fully on lower carbon energy sources. However, no single or clear solution exists on how to facilitate such a shift at either a national or international level. Traditional energy planning (when done) has revolved around limited cost projections that often failed to take longer term evidence and interactions of a wider set of factors into account. The good news is that such evidence does exist in case studies of different nations shifting toward low-carbon energy approaches. In fact, such shifts can occur quite quickly at times, alongside industrial and societal advance, innovation, and policy learning. These types of insights will be important for informing energy debates and decision-making going forward. Low Carbon Energy Transitions: Turning Points in National Policy and Innovation provides an in-depth view of four energy transitions that have occurred since the global oil crisis of 1973: Brazilian biofuels, Danish wind power, French nuclear power, and Icelandic geothermic energy. With these cases, Dr. Araujo argues that significant nationwide shifts to low-carbon energy can occur in under fifteen years, and that technological complexity is not necessarily a major impediment to such shifts. Dr. Araujo draws on more than five years of research, and interviews with over 120 different scientists, government workers, academics, and members of civil society in completing this study. Low Carbon Energy Transitions is written for professionals in energy, the environment and policy as well as for students and citizens who are interested in critical decisions about energy. Technology briefings are provided for each of the major technologies in this book, so that scientific and non-scientific readers can engage in a more level discussion about the choices that are involved.


Chapter 1: Rethinking Energy
Chapter 2: Beyond Malthus
Chapter 3: Scoping Tools, Research Design, and Preview
Chapter 4: Brazilian Biofuels: Distilling Solutions
Chapter 5: French Nuclear Energy: Concentrated Power
Chapter 6: Icelandic Geothermal Energy: Shifting Ground
Chapter 7: Danish Wind Power: Alternating Currents
Chapter 8: Taking Stock
Technology Primer
Transition Timelines
Acronyms and Abbreviations

About the author: 

Dr. Kathleen M. Araujo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University. Dr. Araujo specializes in strategic decision-making and planning associated with energy-environmental systems. She teaches and consults on change associated with innovation, resilience, better practices and industrial development. Dr. Araujo is an Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University in the Department of Technology and Society, and a researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory. She earned her PhD at MIT, and completed post-doctoral research at Harvard.

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