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Learning about diffusion from experiences in other countries

European countries have seen some low-energy innovations, like district energy systems in Austria, gain popularity. What lessons can be learned from these examples about how to overcome inertia and cause diffusions to accelerate, leading to tipping points and breakthroughs?

Accelerating innovation theme icon
Start date: 1 September, 2014 - End date: 1 May, 2018

This project aims to learn lessons from the successful diffusion of a selection of low-energy innovations in other European countries.

Proposed case studies are:

a) micro-generation of electricity in Germany (which blurs traditional distinctions between production and consumption)

b) whole-house retrofits in Germany, Austria, and Sweden

c) district heating systems in Nordic countries and

d) urban light-rail systems in France, Germany, and Switzerland.

In-depth studies of these cases will investigate how these innovations struggled against existing ‘socio-technical regimes’ (on economic, technical, cultural, and political dimensions) and which co-evolutionary alignments helped to overcome inertia and cause diffusion to accelerate, leading to tipping points and breakthroughs.

Project publications



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