Addressing the role of firms and regions for the energy transition, including innovation,new business models,investment, regional development,and social acceptance of new technologies.
The move from the current energy supply towards a future energy supply without nuclear power and with lower consumption of fossil fuels has been initiated by policymakers in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, so it becomes clear that macro-level framework conditions have been a significant driver – those are studied WP 3. In a democratic society, it is also clear that the behavior of energy consumers is an important determinant of future levels of energy demand, and in an increasingly liberalized market, consumer decisions also influence the energy supply mix – therefore WP 2 is dedicated to increasing our understanding of individual behavior. However, a mental model of the world as solely consisting of individual behavior driven by macro-level policies would be incomplete. Indeed, there are a number of meso-level drivers of change. Firm strategies shape consumer decision-making; investment strategies can either accelerate or hinder the build-up of new energy infrastructures; firms engage in co-producing energy governance; energy regions create new meso-level arenas for experimenting with transition strategies; and traditional forms of regulation get complemented with new mechanisms and processes that ultimately determine social acceptance of policies and infrastructure. WP 1 on Energy, Innovation, Management focuses on these critical meso-level phenomena.
Fig. 1: Three layers of meso-level phenomena covered in WP1
Within WP1, the research is clustered around three major tasks. As shown in Fig. 1, these tasks move outward from firm-level towards the regional level. Task 1.1 is embedded in the research field of technology and innovation management and explores questions related to entrepreneurship, innovation with respect to new technologies as well as to new business models and related areas. Task 1.2 focuses on investment and governance, igniting fruitful collaboration among researchers at the intersection of finance, management and political science. Task 1.3 then takes a regional perspective, and investigates interdependencies between different actor groups, technological solutions and their impact on the transition path of regional energy systems as well as questions related to social acceptance of various energy sources.