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Innovation is key to achieving a sustainable electricity system. New technologies and behavioral change are needed to bring about radical reductions in carbon emissions, and to enhance energy security for today and the future generations. Also, innovation is a continuous process: it happens every day and builds a future in which coming generations will live. Innovation not only comprises new technology, but also new forms of organization, new practices, new discourses and new insights on global and local concerns. Innovation is therefore deeply entwined with sustainable development.

In this book we make an attempt at answering these questions by digging deeper at some selected points, aiming at laying bare some crucial processes of renewal which are beneath the overwhelming impression of system transformation in electricity. These processes comprise the creation of novelty in areas as diverse as small distributed generation technology, large scale carbon clean-up technology, consumer information and feedback methods, innovative forms of electricity market regulation and public policies for reducing the environmental burden of electricity production by issuing tradable emission certificates. We maintain that the future of electricity is brought about through these (and other) ongoing innovation processes and their interaction. We understand electricity transformation as the result of such diverse innovation processes. If we want to shape the future of electricity, we need to understand the dynamics and identify the specific potential for sustainable development in each specific process of innovation, and to mirror it against the evolving future electricity system as a whole. This is what we are going to embark on with this book.

Keywords

Electricity System Emission Trading Scheme Electricity Sector International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2009

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