Institut for Forretningsudvikling og Teknologi

User innovation, niche construction and regime destabilization in heat pump transitions

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DOI

  • Mari Martiskainen, University of Sussex Business School
  • ,
  • Johan Schot, Utrecht University
  • ,
  • Benjamin K. Sovacool

Domestic heating systems require a rapid shift to low-carbon options to meet global climate targets. We analyse a heat pump transition in two contrasting case studies: Finland and the United Kingdom, utilizing original data from interviews, document analysis, and archival online data. Finland has an almost completed transition, while the United Kingdom can be considered a stalled one. Building on previous research that has highlighted the importance of context, policy and users in transitions, we explore various user roles within low-carbon transitions, and how they shape processes of niche construction and regime destabilisation. Our findings show that the role of users is one key explanatory element of the different heat pump transitions. We also find that specific characteristics of a transition context can influence the types of users that emerge. We conclude that instead of just providing incentives, policy should also aim to mobilise users.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Vol/bind39
Sider (fra-til)119-140
Antal sider22
ISSN2210-4224
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730403 ?Innovation pathways, strategies and policies for the Low-Carbon Transition in Europe (INNOPATHS)?. The content of this deliverable does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed herein lies entirely with the author(s).

Funding Information:
Heat pumps started to gain some more interest in the 2000s (UKExpert14), but still “the numbers [were] very slow if you compare to any other country in Western Europe” (UKExpert14). The limited amount of heat pump adoption in the UK was linked by UKExpert04 to a lack of legislation in regards to buildings: “until the legislation really catches up, certainly on new build, there's not an awful lot driving people going to heat pumps.” (UKExpert04). During the first half of 2000s, there was a lot of interest towards developing policies for supporting microgeneration (i.e. renewable energy generation less than 50 kW). The government for example funded technical research by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) which predicted in 2004 that microgeneration could provide 30–40 % of the UK's electricity by 2050 ( DTI, 2006 ). GSHPs were given policy support with a reduced 5% VAT rate in 2004, and ASHPs in 2005, and a government Microgeneration Strategy was published in 2006 ( DTI, 2006 ). The Strategy recognised the lack of large-scale manufacturing based in the UK and outlined the need to examine the motivations of early adopters. Consecutive grant programmes such as the Clear Skies (2003–2008) 2 2 and Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) (2006–2010) provided grants. Both programmes also had certified installer registrations linked to them with an aim to develop standards.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730403 “Innovation pathways, strategies and policies for the Low-Carbon Transition in Europe (INNOPATHS)”. The content of this deliverable does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed herein lies entirely with the author(s).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

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