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Visions of Energy Futures


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Table of Contents

  1. List of Figures

    List of Tables

    About the Author


    1. Introduction: Visions and futures in the study of low-carbon energy systems
    2. Technological utopianism: Small modular reactors and the physics community
    3. Symbolic convergence: Hydrogen fuel cells and the engineering community
    4. Technological frames: The interpretive flexibility of shale gas in Eastern Europe
    5. Discursive coalitions: Contesting clean coal in South Africa
    6. Sociotechnical imaginaries: Smart meters and the public in the United Kingdom
    7. Expectations: Electric mobility and experts in the Nordic region
    8. Conclusion: Dimensions, dichotomies and frameworks for energy futures


About the Author

Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the School of Business, Management, and Economics, University of Sussex, UK. He is also Professor of Business & Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark, where he also directs the Centre on Energy Technologies.


"Visions, imaginaries, and fictional expectations are central for an understanding of our energy futures, determining what is desirable and undesirable, achievable or impossible. Energy visions should feature centrally in our research and policy mixes, and I welcome Visions of Energy Futures for ambitiously pushing such an agenda forward." -- Maarten Hajer, Professor of Urban Futures, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

"Visions, discourses and framings of low-carbon innovations shape meanings and legitimacy that, in turn, influence support from various actors, including policymakers and funders. Contributing to debates about the performative roles of visions, Benjamin Sovacool's new book draws important lessons from six case studies across various countries and domains, which illuminate how future energy systems are affected by discursive struggles at present. Important reading for students and scholars alike." -- Frank Geels, Professor of System Innovation, University of Manchester, UK

"Technology is rooted in the future. Hence, the development and use of low-carbon energy systems requires fundamental changes in how the future is imagined. Benjamin Sovacool elegantly explores and explains how imaginations of the future could feed, guide and inspire technological innovations in six state-of-the-art energy systems. This book provides an important and timely contribution to the quest of energy transitions." -- Harro van Lente, Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

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