Innovation patterns and processes must be aligned, and harnessed and accelerated across multiple domains to address our climate objectives and wider sustainability challenges. In this Perspective, we draw from original case studies on specific technologies and their related innovation systems in agriculture, buildings, electricity, ICT, industry, and transport across Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Across these innovation systems, the Research Note discusses the technologies, infrastructure, actors, policies and institutions that may lead to, or prevent, successful and unsuccessful technology transitions. We synthesize this diverse evidence to offer five key findings on technology costs and configurations, diversity and multiplicity of actors, diversity of value systems, and countervailing pressures. These insights support the design of effective innovation and decarbonization policies to promote low-carbon transitions.
Written by Elena Verdolini, Benjamin K. Sovacool and Paul Drummond.