Key Messages from the Authors of the Book
The main research and policy indications produced by the authors of the book are summarised in this final chapter. Formulated research and policy indications reflect the positivist and the constructivist approaches adopted by these scholars to study the ongoing transition to renewables. Contributing authors conducting their studies from a positivist perspective mainly stress the need for researchers and policy makers to give priority to a complex system approach when addressing this transition. Rather than just focusing on decarbonisation of countries, some of them highlight, in particular, the relevant effects that can be generated by de-olification of societies and by a close monitoring of the environmental impact of giant corporations. Others discuss the urgency of going beyond purely neoliberal approaches to energy sustainability and of complementing energy efficiency with energy conservation policies. On the other hand, scholars representing the constructivist perspective point to the need for researchers and policy makers to go beyond approaches informed by complexity by avoiding, among others, constantly taking literally the metaphors developed around the energy and information concepts. At the same time, they urge to move the focus of policy and research agendas from an abstract notion of energy to social practices and to develop technical tools enabling the dynamic match between energy end-uses and available renewable energy sources entailed by radical transitions to renewables. In addition, they highlight the importance of achieving a deeper understanding of the concept of smartness and of expanding current approaches to demand response and demand management by focusing on the role played by people’s practices and on how existing disparities on energy generation, transmission and use can be reduced. The chapter finally draws some main conclusions concerning how the above-mentioned complementary approaches have allowed framing the problem of energy sustainability in this publication.