Accelerating energy and low-carbon transitions
- Start  Friday 18 Jan 2019 5:00pm
- Finish Thursday 19 Dec 2019 6:30pm
- Venue School of Geography and Environment Lecture theatre
Transitioning away from our current global energy system is of paramount importance. The speed at which a transition can take place—its timing, or temporal dynamics—is a critical element of consideration. This presentation therefore investigates the issue of time in global and national energy transitions by asking: What does the mainstream academic literature suggest about the time scale of energy transitions? Additionally, what does some of the more recent empirical data related to transitions say, or challenge, about conventional views? In answering these questions, the article presents a “mainstream” view of energy transitions as long, protracted affairs, often taking decades to centuries to occur. However, the article then offers some empirical evidence that the predominant view of timing may not always be supported by the evidence, and that accelerated transitions are possible under the right circumstances.
Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the School of Business, Management, and Economics, part of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. There he serves as Director of the Sussex Energy Group and Director of the Center on Innovation and Energy Demand which involves the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester. Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change. He is a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), due to be published in 2022, and an Advisor on Energy to the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation in Brussels, Belgium. He has played a leadership role in winning and managing collaborative research grants worth more than $19.6 million, including those from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program of Denmark, the Danish Council for Independent Research, and the European Commission. In the United Kingdom, he has served as a Principal Investigator on projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, National Environment Research Council, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. With much coverage of his work in the international news media, he is one of the most highly cited global researchers on issues bearing on controversies in energy and climate policy.