Socio-technical scenarios and local practice – Assessing the future use of fossil-free alternatives in a regional energy and transport system
Thomas Magnusson, Stefan Anderberg, Sofia Dahlgren, Niclas Svensson
- •Presents socio-technical scenarios for electric buses, biogas and biodiesel
- •Collaborative research approach involving local decision-makers
- •Focus on near-term implementation and commercial operation
- •Methodological lessons on system delineation, timing, conflict resolution and agency
Abstract: This article presents results from a project involving local practitioners in the construction of scenarios for a regional energy and transport system. The purpose is to demonstrate how sustainability transitions research can interact with local practice by means of socio-technical scenarios. Combining quantitative data with qualitative storylines, the article presents four scenarios, which describe different ways of using biogas, biodiesel and electricity in four different applications: city buses, inter-city buses, heavy-duty trucks and industrial processes. The article compares the four scenarios in terms of realization possibilities, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. Focusing on near-term realization on a commercial basis, the research findings suggest that collaborative scenario construction can be a useful strategy to manage conflicting agendas and engage key stakeholders in dialogues on transition pathways. The article concludes by presenting policy lessons for practice-oriented transition management. The lessons point to the importance of flexibility in system delineations, the critical timing of near-term scenarios, and the use of scenarios to outline local practitioners’ agency.
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