Understanding social innovation in local energy transitions processes: A multi-case study
Journal article, 2021

Social innovation (SI) in local energy transitions is gaining focus in current times but energy transitions have not yet been explicitly analysed in the context of SI. Our objective is to characterize SI in co-created local energy transitions processes through the study of three distinct cases based on energy transitions in localities in Sweden (Skåne and Dalsland) and Denmark (Hjørring). In these localities, municipality actors (MA) are engaged in increasing the adoption of solar PV systems, uptake of EV and biogas cars, and phasing out oil-burners, respectively. We analyse the three cases by following the work of the MAs and through the frame of Transformative Social Innovation (TSI), which consists of four shades; social innovation, system innovation, game-changers, and narratives of change. Subsequently, we use causal loop diagrams to characterize the SI in the oil-burner phase-out case. We see shades of SI and system innovation but there are no ‘game changers’ or ‘narratives of change’ yet in any of the cases.

Social innovation

Causal loop diagrams




Municipality actors


Sujeetha Selvakkumaran

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Erik Ahlgren

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Global Transitions

25897918 (eISSN)

Vol. 3 1-12

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Other Environmental Engineering

Energy Systems



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