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MEE100_1

Societal transition and transformation - Energy and climate change

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.


This course takes climate change and the Paris Agreement as its point of departure and deals with the transition to a low carbon society and the envisioned transformation of the energy system therein.
It brings attention to the political controversies associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation and the different, and sometimes competing, strategies envisioned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
It discusses different energy scenarios and visions about the future energy system and the ways in which transition and transformation can take place.

Learning outcome

It is expected that the students after completing the course will have the following knowledge, skills and general competencies.
Knowledge
Students who successfully complete the course will have:
  • basic knowledge of climate change and climate change policies.
  • an understanding of the energy challenges associated with the Paris Agreement.
  • knowledge about emission targets and climate policies in Norway and elsewhere.
  • advanced knowledge of various mitigation and adaptation strategies related to the energy system.
  • knowledge of different energy scenarios and the competing visions of the future energy mix.
  • advanced knowledge of transition theory and the multi-level perspective in particular.
  • extended insights on the relationship between energy and climate change, and the challenges associated with transition to a low carbon society.

Skills
Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:
  • apply the theoretical approaches of transition theory on various energy technologies and assess the conditions for an energy transformation.
  • critically assess and evaluate different energy and climate change related policy measures.

General competencies
  • After the course, students are expected to be able to use the knowledge and skills in the analysis of energy- and environmental problems and to formulate and communicate problems and dilemmas associated with a low carbon energy transition.

Contents

The course places great emphasis on transition theory and the multi-level perspective (MLP). Transition theory is used as an analytical tool to discuss the conditions for and the likelihood of the realization of various low carbon strategies and energy transformations.

Required prerequisite knowledge

None.

Exam

Weight Duration Marks Aid
Home assignment1/13 daysA - FAll.
One 5 000 word (+/- 10%) compulsary essay on given task.

Coursework requirements

One student assignment

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Oluf Langhelle
Course teacher
Bettina Bluemling

Method of work

Lectures and student assignments.

Open to

Energy, Environment and Society - masterstudium
Change Management - Master's Degree Programme
Exchange Students at Faculty of Arts and Education
Exchange programmes at UIS Business School
Exchange programme at Faculty of Social Sciences
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Faculty of Social Science evaluation system.

Literature

Textbooks:
Grin, J., Rotmans, J., Schot, J., Geels, F.W. and Loorbach, D. (2011). Transitions to Sustainable Development: New Directions in the Study of Long Term Transformative Change. Routledge. Page 1-28, 54-79, 127-139, 180-220.
Peters, G. B. (2015). Advanced Introduction to Public Policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Chapter 1-6.
Articles:
Agora Energiewende (2015). Understanding the Energiewende. FAQ on the ongoing transition of the German power system.
Avelino, F. et al. (2016). The politics of sustainability transitions.- Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 18: 557-677.
Ballo, I. F. (2015). Imagining energy futures: Sociotechnical imaginaries of the future Smart Grid in Norway.- Energy Research & Social Science, 9: 9-20.
Bromley, P. S. (2016). Extraordinary interventions: Toward a framework for rapid transition and deep emission reductions in the energy space.- Energy Research & Social Science, 22: 165-171.
Carbon Tracker Initiative (2015). Lost in Transition: How the energy sector is missing potential demand destruction. October 2015.
Geels, F.W. (2002). "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study." Research Policy, 31: 1257-1274.
Geels, F.W. (2011). "The multi-level perspective on sustainability transitions: Responses to seven criticisms". Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 1(1), 24-40.
Geels, F.W. (2014). "Regime Resistance against Low-Carbon Transitions: Introducing Politics and Power into the Multi-Level Perspective." Theory, Culture & Society, 31(5): 21-40.
Geels, F. W. et al. (2016). "The enactment of socio-technical transition pathways: A reformulated typology and a comparative multi-level analysis of the German and UK low-carbon electricity transitions (1990-2014)." Research Policy, 45: 896-913.
GWEC, EREC and GreenPeace (2015). Energy [r]evolution. A sustainable world energy outlook. 5th edition 2015 energy scenario. Executive summary.
Kern, F. and Smith, A. (2008). "Restructuring energy systems for sustainability? Energy transition policy in the Netherlands." Energy Policy, 36: 4093-4103.
Kern, F., Kuzemko, C. and Mitchell, C. (2015). "How and Why Do Policy Paradigms Change; and Does It Matter? The Case of UK Energy Policy." In: J. Hogan and M. Howlett, Policy Paradigms in Theory and Practice Discourses, Ideas and Anomalies in Public Policy Dynamics. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Kern, F. and Rogge, K. S. (2016). "The pace of governed energy transitions: Agency, international dynamics and the global Paris agreement accelerating decarbonisation processes?" Energy Research & Social Science, 22: 13-17.
Kuzemko, C. et al. (2016). "Governing for sustainable energy system change: Politics, contexts and contingency." Energy Research & Social Science, 12: 96-105.
Langhelle, O. (2017). "Sustainable development: Solving the inescapable linkages between environment and development", in J. Meadowcroft and D. Fiorino (eds.), Conceptual innovations in environmental policy. Cambridge: MIT Press (forthcoming).
Langhelle, O. (1999). "Sustainable Development: Exploring the Ethics of Our Common Future." International Political Science Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 129-149.
Langhelle, O., Kern, F. and Meadowcroft, J. (2017). "Political conflict as a driver of socio-technical transitions: the political landscape re-visited." Draft, to be submitted.
Langhelle, O. and Meadowcroft, J. (2009). `CCS in a comparative perspective', in J. Meadowcroft and O. Langhelle (eds.), Caching the Carbon. The Politics and Policy of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Meadowcroft, J. (2009). "What about the politics? Sustainable development, transition management, and long term energy transitions." Policy Sci, 42: 323-340.
Meadowcroft, J. (2011). "Engaging with the politics of sustainability transitions." Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 1: 70-75.
Moe, E. (2015). "Germany: At a Crossroads, or Social and Political Consensus Setting It on a Course for Structural Change?" In E. Moe, Renewable Energy Transformation or Fossil Fuel Backlash. Vested Interests in the Political Economy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Moe, E. (2015). "Norway: A Petro-Industrial Complex Leaving Little Room for Structural Change?" In E. Moe, Renewable Energy Transformation or Fossil Fuel Backlash. Vested Interests in the Political Economy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Normann, H. E. (2015). "The role of politics in sustainable transitions: The rise and decline of offshore wind in Norway." Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 15: 180-193.
Norwegian Environment Agency (2014). Knowledge base for low-carbon transition in Norway, Summary.
Norwegian Environment Agency (2015). Climate mitigation measures and emission trajectories up to 2030, Summary.
OECD/IEA, 2016, World Energy Outlook. Executive Summary. Paris: OECD/IEA.
OECD/IEA, 2016. Energy Technology Perspectives 2016. Harnessing Electricity's Potential. Executive Summary. Paris: OECD/IEA.
Peters, G. et al. (2015). "Measuring a fair and ambitious climate agreement using cumulative emissions." Environ. Res. Lett., 10: 105004.
REN21 (2017). Advancing the Global Renewable Energy Transition. Highlights of the REN21 Renewables 2017 Global Status Report in perspective. Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century.
Rosenbloom, D., Berton, H. and Meadowcroft, J. (2016). "Framing the sun: A discursive approach to understanding multi-dimensional interactions within socio-technical transitions through the case of solar electricity in Ontario, Canada." Research Policy, 45: 1275-1290.
Smil, V. (2016). "Examining energy transitions: A dozen insights based on performance." Energy Research & Social Science, 22: 194-197.
Sovacool, B. K. (2016). "How long will it take? Conceptualizing the temporal dynamics of energy transitions." Energy Research & Social Science, 13: 202-215.
Sovacool, B. K. and Geels, F. W. (2016). "Further reflections on the temporality of energy transitions: A response to critics." Energy Research & Social Science, 22: 232-237.
Steffen, W. et al. (2011). "The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives." Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 369: 842-867.
Steffen, W. et al. (2015). "Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet." Science, 347(6223): 736-756.
Turnheim, B. and Geels, F.W., 2012, "Regime destabilisation as the flipside of energy transitions: Lessons from the history of the British coal industry (1913-1997)", Energy Policy, 50, 35-49
Verbong, G.P.J., Geels, F.W and Raven, R.P.J.M. (2008). "'Multi-niche analysis of dynamics and policies in Dutch renewable energy innovation journeys (1970-2006): Hype-cycles, closed networks and technology-focused learning." Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 20(5), 555-573.
Certain adjustments in literature might be made. Any adjustments will be announced in CANVAS before teaching starts.


This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 25.08.2019

History