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Critical perspectives on disruptive innovation and energy transformation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>3/11/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Energy Research and Social Science
<mark>State</mark>E-pub ahead of print
Early online date3/11/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


What are ‘disruption’ and ‘disruptive innovation’? And what relevance do they have for energy transformation? Ten critical perspectives offer ten contrasting responses to these questions. The relevance of Christensen’s canonical definition of disruptive innovation is highly contested in its applicability to energy and climate challenges, as is the usefulness of analysing discrete business models or technologies rather than socio-technical systems. Further research on disruptive innovation and energy transformation needs to tackle: (i) the social, systemic and emissions impact of widespread adoption; (ii) how to mitigate the adverse distributional consequences of disruption; (iii) the consumer appeal of ‘good enough’ products for users marginalised or excluded from mainstream markets; (iv) the role of incumbents in system transformation; and (v) the reasons for geographic variation in disruption processes currently underway.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Energy Research & Social Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Energy Research & Social Science, ??, ?, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.10.032