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Governing transitions: cases and insights from two periods in the history of the UK gas industry

Arapostathis, Stathis and Carlsson-Hyslop, Anna and Pearson, Peter J. G. and Thornton, Judith and Gradillas, Maria and Laczay, Scott and Wallis, Suzanne (2013) Governing transitions: cases and insights from two periods in the history of the UK gas industry. Energy Policy, 52. pp. 25-44. ISSN 0301-4215

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Abstract

The paper aims to inform historically the analyses of future sociotechnical transition pathways in the electricity sector, particularly those developed by the Transition Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy project. It also aims to inform the theoretical approach to transitions by focusing on key decisions at ‘branching points’ that led to transitions in the UK gas energy services regime, which occurred under different governance patterns. The first historical case study covers the market-led transformation of the manufactured gas regime from 1877 to 1914, which developed the end-uses of gas beyond lighting to include cooking, and extended access to working class consumers. The second case study covers the period from 1948 to 1977, historically reconstructing the transition from town gas to natural gas. This state-led and coordinated conversion to natural gas was preceded by a period of destabilisation of the manufactured gas regime, the co-existence of several niche technologies and the hybridisation of the key actors and technological infrastructures of the incumbent regime. Comparing the cases provides insights for future energy service transitions by addressing the significance of power, trust and networking in the decision making processes involved in the governance of energy transitions.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Energy Policy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Historical energy transitions ; Gas Industry ; Branching points
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 58825
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 12 Oct 2012 09:20
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2013 16:23
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/58825

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