The role of path-dependencies in transition processes: the case of energy for road transport

Antje Klitkou, Simon Bolwig, Teis Hansen, Alexandra Nikoleris, Nina Wessberg

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther conference contributionScientificpeer-review


    This paper revisits the theoretical concepts of path-dependencies and 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 FCEVs. 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 differentiation of power. We show that very different path-dependencies have been reinforced by the lock-in mechanisms. Hence, there were differences between countries and between technologies. The incumbent socio-technical regime is not just fossil-based, but can also include mature niches specialised in exploitation of renewable 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.


    Conference5th International Conference on Sustainability Transitions
    Internet address


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


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