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Spatial processes in urban energy transitions: considering an assemblage of Socio-Energetic Nodes

Abstract : Urban and energy transitions are increasingly seen as being deeply intertwined. The way this relation impacts our approach to energy transition is a current issue for research. Implementing renewable energy sources in built-up areas challenges incumbent supply chains and large technical systems, especially for electricity, gas and heat. Approaches to transition such as the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) highlight the transformation of socio-technical regimes but have been criticised for overstating stability of regime and for overlooking spatial (and consequently urban) processes. Other concepts are required in order to understand local and non-local relationships between niches and regimes. This paper suggests a constructivist and pragmatic concept for urban energy transition, the Socio-Energetic Node (SEN), thanks to which actors and artefacts can be traced within energy networks. The SEN is a group of elements, which collects, converts and/or supplies energy, built by a decision-maker interacting with stakeholders and regime rules. Having identified SENs in four French eco-districts, we observed how they took shape around continuous energy flows and across decision-making boundaries, highlighting how spatial-scale and place-specificity impact on energy transition.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 10:17:24 AM
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Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Gilles Debizet, Antoine Tabourdeau, Caroline Gauthier, Philippe Menanteau. Spatial processes in urban energy transitions: considering an assemblage of Socio-Energetic Nodes. Journal of Cleaner Production, Elsevier, 2016, Transitions to Sustainable Consumption and Production in Cities, 134 (330-341), pp.330-341. ⟨10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.140⟩. ⟨hal-02632211⟩

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