Local innovation impulses for transforming the energy system (LITRES)
Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 2013-2016
Within a collaborative project, the research partners (University of Stuttgart (SOWI VI, IER, ZIRIUS), Technical University of Darmstadt (IWAR), University of Münster (department of political science), BBHC) analyze local innovation impulses which contribute to the transformation of the energy system. Point of departure is the assumption, that innovation processes in energy and other infrastructure systems start with the development and diffusion of so-called “socio-technical niches”. Under certain circumstances, these niches change the dominant “socio-technical regimes”, which normally define and limit innovation and variation (cp. Rip/Kemp 1998; Smith et al. 2005). In the context of strong decentralization trends of energy supply in Germany, local innovation impulses play an important role for the current transformation process.
In order to generate deeper insights in the development of local innovation impulses we analyze by a multidisciplinary approach (using actor-centered, economical-technical-oriented and spatial-oriented perspectives) and aim to identify key factors and form hypotheses for the diffusion of the innovations.
In a comparative study the research partners work on four socio-technical niches (civic wind farms, contracting, smart infrastructure, micro-cogeneration) by analyzing two case studies for each of the innovation impulses. The chair for Spatial and Infrastructure Planning is responsible for the case-studies on micro-CHP (cases: Berlin; Ruhr) and on smart infrastructure (cases: Mannheim, Hamburg).
During the project workshops with practitioners have been taken place and studies on the different innovation fields have been worked out. For project publications see: http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/litres/Publikationen/