Towards a sustainability transition in the maritime shipping sector: the role of market segment characteristics
Conference contribution, 2018
Maritime transport is arguably a neglected empirical field within sustainability transitions research, despite the global importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other pollutants also from this sector. What makes this especially interesting from a sustainability transitions perspective is that low- and zero-carbon energy (LoZeC) technologies would need to be implemented in a mature, multi-segmented sector that, similar to onshore transport, is highly heterogeneous in that it includes vessels ranging from massive inter-continental freight and bulk carriers to small passenger vessels. This suggests the need for a more differentiated and nuanced perspective on socio-technical regimes as well as on the emerging technological innovation systems and their interaction with each other. More specifically, we focus on the particular task and institutional environments that characterize different market segments. In this article we analyze the evolution of battery-electric (BE) energy storage in the maritime shipping sector (MSS), employing a framework that combines the multi-level perspective (MLP) and the functions of technological innovation systems (TIS) approach. Taken together, our analysis suggests that the MSS transition process is likely to unfold along different pathways in different market segments, and that different market segments will have different impacts and influences on TIS functionality. In summary, we contribute to the sustainability transitions literature by explicitly addressing the influence of market segment characteristics on regime susceptibility and TIS functionality. From a policy perspective, this points to a need for segment-specific policy instruments.