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Resource or Project Abstract

This Final Report presents the findings from a desk study on Catalysing and Characterising Transition (CCTransitions), which was commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The project had the aims of providing a review of theoretical concepts that inform how we understand sustainability transitions, reviewing a number of international case studies of such sustainability transitions and examining how specific technologies have been promoted to facilitate transition. The project also sought to look at examples of how transition in Ireland could be benchmarked against other international examples and to provide a wider analytical framework for applying these ideas in an Irish context. The report summarises the findings of each of these objectives and how they were achieved via a desk study supported by interviews and two project workshops.

The report begins by reviewing the idea of transition, highlighting its origins in science and technology studies and outlining four broad perspectives on transition: the multi-level perspective, transition management, strategic niche management, and technological innovation systems. Each of these perspectives provides a unique way of understanding the different challenges involved in mobilising the far-reaching transformation in society needed to overcome the persistent problems of un-sustainability. A common principle here is that a desirable societal change cannot be defined primarily on the basis of a definable end state, but should be regarded as primarily a process of redirecting and steering a wide range of elements (markets, energy technologies infrastructure, governance, individual behaviour, collective action) towards a more sustainable configuration.
Following this, the report examines the energy transition experiences of the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Norway and New Zealand. The key dimensions of the transition experience in each country are reviewed, highlighting for each country the broader landscape forces, dominant actors and scope of niche innovation. This demonstrates the possibility of diverse pathways towards transition, depending on the structural conditions, vision and actors involved. The report also seeks to draw some general insights from these international experiences, noting the complexity of forces, agents and scales that can act as drivers for or barriers to a country?s transition. In particular, the benefits of a strong and widely shared sustainability vision and the way in which incumbent, vested interests can frustrate progress are noted.
The report also reviews the drivers for and challenges to the deployment of three technologies that have been considered to be relevant to the Irish energy transition (namely bioenergy, biofuels and electric )vehicles) in other European settings, identifying key points for consideration in an Irish setting. The context of the Irish energy system is then described, using the concepts of landscape, regime and niche from the multi-level perspective to typify the interdependencies, challenges and opportunities for transition.

A further section of the report reviews the challenges to benchmarking the Irish transition against other countries? progress and critically develops suggestions for what could be usefully done in an Irish context. Finally, the report seeks to synthesise the findings of the project and makes recommendations for how the perspective of transitions can be operationalised in an Irish context, with an emphasis on enhancing Irish the national capacity for transition research, and initiating a national transition management process.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Prof. Geraint Ellis
School of the Natural and Built Environment

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att 1    Final_Report_CC_Transitions_Final.pdf   (8.47 Mb)
Att 2    CCTRansitions_Dublin_Workshop_Report_Final.pdf   (2.65 Mb)
Att 3    CCTRansitions_Cork_Workshop_Report_Final.pdf   (1.05 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Ellis, G.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationCa
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier057d3ec9-a725-11e9-906f-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-07-14

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Ellis, G.   "Ca". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-07-14)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsEnergy Transiution Sustainability
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeClimate Change
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this Resource
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 3
Project Start Date Tuesday 1st July 2014 (01-07-2014)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Tuesday 1st July 2014 (01-07-2014)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 2nd July 2015 (02-07-2015)
Published on SAFERMonday 15th July 2019 (15-07-2019)
Date of Last EditMonday 15th July 2019 at 18:27:03 (15-07-2019)
Datasets or Files Updated On Monday 15th July 2019 at 18:27:03 (15-07-2019)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Ireland wide

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

In this section some supplementary information about this resource is outlined. Lineage information helps us to understand why this project was carried out, what policy or research requirements did it fulfil, etc. Lineage is important in understanding the rationale behind the carrying out of a project or the collection of a specific dataset etc. Links to web sites, applications, papers, etc are outlined to provide you with additional information or supplementary reading about the project or dataset

Lineage information about this project or dataset
CCTransitions project Final Report
Supplementary Information
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