Impacts of social innovation on local energy transitions: Diffusion of solar PV and alternative fuel vehicles in Sweden
Journal article, 2020
Local energy transitions are gaining widespread attention through their contribution to sustainability, notably to climate change mitigation. Social innovation (SI) in local energy transitions have been scrutinized in multiple works, but the impact of SI on the local energy transitions is an under-studied field. The objective of this study is to put forward a method to model SI in local energy transitions. This is done using System Dynamics modelling (SDM) of the local energy transitions processes. The SDM method is to study a broad spectrum of socio-techno-natural phenomena, generally. In this study, SDM is used to capture the endogenous factors which underpin the transition processes. This study is based on two cases: solar photovoltaics (PV) diffusion in Skåne, and transition to alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) in Dalsland, Sweden. The transitions are modelled with the municipality actors providing input. Two simulation runs of the local transitions are executed, namely the Base run and No SI run. The Base run has the municipality actors’ co-creation actions. Results show that the co-creation actions induce a significant increase in the diffusion of electric vehicles in Dalsland and higher diffusion of solar PV in Skåne. The main outcome of this study is a model to assess the possible impacts of SI on local energy transitions. Ultimately, we hope to contribute to methods of quantitatively assessing the impact of SI in local energy transitions.