CIED ended in February 2019. This website is now archived and will be no longer updated.
Senior Lecturer, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex

Dr Florian Kern is a Senior Lecturer at SPRU and Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group (SEG). He has more than ten years of experience in research, consulting and teaching in the area of energy, climate and innovation policy and socio-technical transitions. Florian’s research focusses on policies and policy processes aimed at stimulating the transition to a low carbon economy. His work draws on innovation studies as well as policy analysis and political science. He has published in journals such as Research Policy, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Energy Policy, Policy & Politics, Environment & Planning C, Policy Sciences and Environmental Politics. Florian is leading a cross-cutting project of the Centre on policy synergies and trade-offs.

Florian Kern


Policy synergies and trade offs for low energy innovation

Policy mixes are particularly important for supporting transitions to lower-energy systems. Do current UK energy policy goals and instruments add up to a coherent policy mix suitable for fostering such transitions? What is the impact of the current policy mix?



After the 2016 Autumn Statement: The low carbon transition – still blowing in the wind?

The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter famously described the “winds of creative destruction”: a process of industrial transformation in which product and process innovations revolutionise the existing industrial structure, destroying the old one by creating a new one. But the Chancellor’s 2016 Autumn Statement – delivered just five days after the UK ratified the Paris climate …

Stimulating ‘creative destruction’ to transform how we use energy

By Paula Kivimaa & Florian Kern Given the urgency of climate change, it is unfortunate that the recent ‘reset’ of UK energy policy missed a big opportunity. That is to take a more strategic approach to developing public policies to drive the rapid, transformative change required to reduce energy use and decarbonise its supply in …

The scrapping of the zero carbon homes undermines trust in government’s commitment to energy efficiency

The government’s decision to scrap the zero carbon homes target plus the equivalent for non-domestic houses is a major setback for achieving a low carbon UK and will undermine the credibility of the policy mix on building energy efficiency and beyond. The zero carbon homes target was announced in 2006 and, as the name suggests, …

What future for the technological innovation systems approach in analysing sustainability transition

In this blog, Dr Florian Kern discusses the future of the Technological Innovation Systems approach, identifying three key challenges facing the framework. Today the 5th annual gathering of the community studying sustainability transitions (organised in the Sustainability Transitions Research Network) starts in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Such conferences always present a good opportunity to step back …

UK’s energy efficiency policy ‘not fully coherent’ –the difficulties of making complex policy mixes work

A recent commentary piece in Ends report (UK’s energy efficiency plan not fully coherent’, by Paul Hatchwell, 7th May) is critical of DECC’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEAP).In the article Hatchwell refers to an assessment by the EU-wide Coalition for Energy Savings which concluded that the ‘UK’s plans were considered ‘assessable’€, but classed as …

Scrapping the German Renewable Energy Act?

When the German Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI)  released its annual report to the German Chancellor Merkel a couple of weeks ago, two of the 260 pages caught most of the attention of the media. Two pages which presented the conclusion that the German Renewable Energies Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, short: EEG) with its …