Energy at the Frontier : low carbon energy system transitions and innovation in four prime mover countries
Author(s)Araújo, Kathleen M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Lawrence E. Susskind.
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All too often, discussion about the imperative to change national energy pathways revolves around long timescales and least cost economics of near-term energy alternatives. While both elements certainly matter, they don't fully reflect what can drive such development trajectories. This study explores national energy transitions by examining ways in which four prime mover countries of low carbon energy technology shifted away from fossil fuels, following the first global oil crisis of 1973. The research analyzes the role of readiness, sectoral contributions, and adaptive policy in the scale-up and innovations of advanced, alternative energy technologies. Cases of Brazilian biofuels, Danish wind power, French nuclear power and Icelandic geothermal energy are evaluated for a period of four decades. Fundamentally, the research finds that significant change can occur in under 15 years; that technology complexity need not impede change; and that countries of varying governance approaches and consumption levels effectuated such transitions. This research also underscores how low carbon energy technologies may be adopted before they are competitive and then become competitive in the process.
Thesis (Ph. D. in International Energy and Environmental Policy)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.