The role of lock-in mechanisms in transition processes: The case of energy for road transport

Antje Klitkou, Simon Bolwig, Teis Hansen, Nina Wessberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper revisits the theoretical concepts of lock-in mechanisms to analyse transition processes in energy production and road transportation in the Nordic countries, focussing on three technology platforms: advanced biofuels, e-mobility and hydrogen and fuel cell electrical vehicles. The paper is based on a comparative analysis of case studies. The main lock-in mechanisms analysed are learning effects, economies of scale, economies of scope, network externalities, informational increasing returns, technological interrelatedness, collective action, institutional learning effects and the differentiation of power. We show that very different path dependencies have been reinforced by the lock-in mechanisms. Hence, the characteristics of existing regimes set the preconditions for the development of new transition pathways. The incumbent socio-technical regime is not just fossil-based, but may also include mature niches specialised in the exploitation of renew-able sources. This implies a need to distinguish between lock-in mechanisms favouring the old fossil-based regime, well-established (mature) renewable energy niches, or new pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

road transport
Biofuels
Fuel cells
niche
learning success
learning
road
regime
fossil
energy
Hydrogen
economy of scale
collective action
fuel cell
biofuel
energy production
economy
hydrogen
renewable energy
collective behavior

Keywords

  • path dependency
  • lock-in mechanism
  • transition process
  • road transport
  • renewable energy

Cite this

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title = "The role of lock-in mechanisms in transition processes: The case of energy for road transport",
abstract = "This paper revisits the theoretical concepts of lock-in mechanisms to analyse transition processes in energy production and road transportation in the Nordic countries, focussing on three technology platforms: advanced biofuels, e-mobility and hydrogen and fuel cell electrical vehicles. The paper is based on a comparative analysis of case studies. The main lock-in mechanisms analysed are learning effects, economies of scale, economies of scope, network externalities, informational increasing returns, technological interrelatedness, collective action, institutional learning effects and the differentiation of power. We show that very different path dependencies have been reinforced by the lock-in mechanisms. Hence, the characteristics of existing regimes set the preconditions for the development of new transition pathways. The incumbent socio-technical regime is not just fossil-based, but may also include mature niches specialised in the exploitation of renew-able sources. This implies a need to distinguish between lock-in mechanisms favouring the old fossil-based regime, well-established (mature) renewable energy niches, or new pathways.",
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The role of lock-in mechanisms in transition processes : The case of energy for road transport. / Klitkou, Antje; Bolwig, Simon; Hansen, Teis; Wessberg, Nina.

In: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Vol. 16, 2015, p. 22-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of lock-in mechanisms in transition processes

T2 - The case of energy for road transport

AU - Klitkou, Antje

AU - Bolwig, Simon

AU - Hansen, Teis

AU - Wessberg, Nina

N1 - Project code: 76810

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - This paper revisits the theoretical concepts of lock-in mechanisms to analyse transition processes in energy production and road transportation in the Nordic countries, focussing on three technology platforms: advanced biofuels, e-mobility and hydrogen and fuel cell electrical vehicles. The paper is based on a comparative analysis of case studies. The main lock-in mechanisms analysed are learning effects, economies of scale, economies of scope, network externalities, informational increasing returns, technological interrelatedness, collective action, institutional learning effects and the differentiation of power. We show that very different path dependencies have been reinforced by the lock-in mechanisms. Hence, the characteristics of existing regimes set the preconditions for the development of new transition pathways. The incumbent socio-technical regime is not just fossil-based, but may also include mature niches specialised in the exploitation of renew-able sources. This implies a need to distinguish between lock-in mechanisms favouring the old fossil-based regime, well-established (mature) renewable energy niches, or new pathways.

AB - This paper revisits the theoretical concepts of lock-in mechanisms to analyse transition processes in energy production and road transportation in the Nordic countries, focussing on three technology platforms: advanced biofuels, e-mobility and hydrogen and fuel cell electrical vehicles. The paper is based on a comparative analysis of case studies. The main lock-in mechanisms analysed are learning effects, economies of scale, economies of scope, network externalities, informational increasing returns, technological interrelatedness, collective action, institutional learning effects and the differentiation of power. We show that very different path dependencies have been reinforced by the lock-in mechanisms. Hence, the characteristics of existing regimes set the preconditions for the development of new transition pathways. The incumbent socio-technical regime is not just fossil-based, but may also include mature niches specialised in the exploitation of renew-able sources. This implies a need to distinguish between lock-in mechanisms favouring the old fossil-based regime, well-established (mature) renewable energy niches, or new pathways.

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KW - lock-in mechanism

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