With the research program TRAPESES, we propose to examine, how synergies and conflicts emerge when top-down and bottom-up innovations meet.

Transition Patterns Enabling Smart Energy Systems

With the research program TRAPESES, we propose to examine, how synergies and conflicts emerge when top-down and bottom-up innovations meet.
With the research program TRAPESES, we propose to examine, how synergies and conflicts emerge when top-down and bottom-up innovations meet.

TRAPESES: ‘Transition Patterns Enabling Smart Energy Systems’ is investigating the smart energy system taking shape. 

We propose to examine, how synergies and conflicts emerge when top-down and bottom-up innovations meet.

TRAPESES questions

What are the tensions and synergies that arise between existing organisations and structures and new parties and developments influencing the future energy system?

Transition uncertainties tackled

At this stage, it is far from clear how the transition to a Smart Energy System will take shape.

Demographic, economic and ecological developments lead to an increasing destabilisation of the incumbent centralized and predominantly fossil-fuel based energy regime. Thereby increasing structural and systemic uncertainties for actors operating at regime, niche and landscape level.

For the medium term, stakeholders need to cope with uncertainties rather than being able to reduce them. This  means that uncertainties need to be dealt with in an exploratory and evolutionary manner, putting mutual learning at centre stage.

Taking a transition perspective (Geels and Schot 2007, Verbong & Loorbach, 2012, Smith & Raven 2012), a Smart Energy System can be understood as an emergent socio-technical system developing out of interacting dynamics between:

  • external societal landscape drivers
  • innovation within the current centralised energy regime
  • emerging, decentralised energy niches that involve
    • technological
    • social innovation
    • and/or institutional innovation

Institutional designs and actor strategies

In TRAPESES we propose to examine, how synergies and conflicts emerge when top-down and bottom-up innovations meet.

Subsequently we will explore:

  • the possible challenges and opportunities for developing towards SES along the least disruptive of the possible transition patterns (the so-called ‘hybrid transition pattern’)
  • and develop ideas and suggestions for institutional designs and actor strategies.

Main applicant

Prof. dr. D.A. (Derk) Loorbach (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
E. loorbach@drift.eur.nl
P. 010 – 4088775

Consortium

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)Alliander

Timeframe

May 2014 to May 2018.

Funded by

NWO and STW (URSES program)

Scientists

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