PerspectivesEnergy scenarios—Exploring disruption and innovation

Research paper by Gert JanKramer

Indexed on: 15 Nov '17Published on: 01 Oct '17Published in: Energy Research & Social Science


In this perspective I argue that the term ‘disruptive innovation’ is at best too narrow and at worst meaningless to describe the important transformation of energy in the light of the pressing problem of climate change and the ambition to reach the targets of the Paris accord. Breaking the term apart, however, into disruption and innovation opens up a rich space for scenario exploration. If we take stock of what is possible or even likely to happen over the next decades, I conclude that we would do well to be more open-minded with respect to the nature and impact of disruption, and broaden the discourse of innovation beyond technical and business innovation.