Entries by Benjamin K. Sovacool, Saleem H. Ali, Morgan Bazilian, Ben Radley, Benoit Nemery, Julia Okatz and Dustin Mulvaney.

Sustainable minerals and metals for a low-carbon future

Climate change mitigation will create new natural resource and supply chain opportunities and dilemmas, because substantial amounts of raw materials will be required to build new low-carbon energy devices and infrastructure (1). However, despite attempts at improved governance and better corporate management, procurement of many mineral and metal resources occurs in areas generally acknowledged for […]

The decarbonisation divide: Contextualizing landscapes of low-carbon exploitation and toxicity in Africa

Much academic research on low-carbon transitions focuses on the diffusion or use of innovations such as electric vehicles or solar panels, but overlooks or obscures downstream and upstream processes, such as mining or waste flows. Yet it is at these two extremes where emerging low-carbon transitions in mobility and electricity are effectively implicated in toxic […]

Beyond cost and carbon: The multidimensional co-benefits of low carbon transitions in Europe

The paper explores the myriad potential benefits of four low-carbon transitions beyond those in the environmental or economic domain. Drawn from a rich set of original mixed methods data—across expert interviews, focus groups, and public internet forums—we examine the presumed multidimensional, qualitative co-benefits to nuclear power in France, solar photovoltaics in Germany, electric vehicles in […]

Central banking and the energy transition

Continuous renewable energy deployment may be less certain than previously thought. If interest rates rise, the cost of renewable energy is disproportionately affected compared to fossil fuel alternatives. Thermostatic policies can help ensuring renewable energy deployment in such environments. Image above: Continuous deployment of wind farms may be less certain than previously thought. Aerial take […]

Why matter matters: How technology characteristics shape the strategic framing of technologies

Previous work stresses that actors use strategic technology framing—i.e. purposeful language and rhetoric—to shape technology expectations, persuade stakeholders, and influence the evolution of technologies along their life-cycle. Currently, however, the literature predominantly describes strategic technology framing as a sociopolitical process, and provides only limited insights into how the framing itself is shaped by the material […]

Processes of elite power and low-carbon pathways: Experimentation, financialisation, and dispossession

What is a low-carbon pathway? To many, it is a way of mitigating climate change. To others, it is about addressing market failure or capturing the co-benefits attached to low-carbon systems, such as jobs or improved health. To still others, it represents building adaptive capacity and resilience in the face of climate change. However, these […]

Bias in energy system models with uniform cost of capital assumption

Several studies have recently evaluated the feasibility of 100% renewable energy-based energy systems in different world regions. In a recent article, Bogdanov et al.1 contribute to this literature, by using an energy system model that takes into account the unique conditions of 145 global subregions, including factors such as renewable energy (RE) resource conditions, structure […]

Unheard voices across the lifecycle of digital technologies and low-carbon transitions

Lived experiences of cobalt miners in the DRC and e-waste workers in Ghana We are living in a society that relies heavily on digital technology, and these technologies have become so engrained in our everyday lives that we rarely question where they come from, whose labour contributes to their existence and what happens after we […]

Toxic transitions in the lifecycle externalities of a digital society: The complex afterlives of electronic waste in Ghana

This study examines the contours of electronic waste (“e-waste”) governance in Ghana, one of the top five importers of e-waste in the world, as well as the site of one of the most intensive e-waste scrapyards in the world, Agbogbloshie. At Agbogbloshie, despite the intentions of national Ghanaian regulations and hazardous waste laws, most e-waste […]

Political acceptability of climate policies: do we need a “just transition” or simply less unequal societies?

This blog post is partly based on the policy paper “Job Losses and the Political Acceptability of Climate Policies: why the job killing argument is so persistent and how to overturn it.” Concerns for a “just transition” towards a low-carbon economy are now part of mainstream political debates as well as of international negotiations on […]