"The Open Access version of this book, available at https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429458781, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license." 

This book examines the uncertainties underlying various strategies for a low-carbon future. Most prominently, such strategies relate to transitions in the energy sector, on both the supply and the demand side. At the same time they interact with other sectors, such as industrial production, transport, and building, and ultimately require new behaviour patterns at household and individual levels. Currently, much research is available on the effectiveness of these strategies but, in order to successfully implement comprehensive transition pathways, it is crucial not only to understand the benefits but also the risks.

Filling this gap, this volume provides an interdisciplinary, conceptual framework to assess risks and uncertainties associated with low-carbon policies and applies this consistently across 11 country cases from around the world, illustrating alternative transition pathways in various contexts. The cases are presented as narratives, drawing on stakeholder-driven research efforts. They showcase diverse empirical evidence reflecting the complex challenges to and potential negative consequences of such pathways. Together, they enable the reader to draw valuable lessons on the risks and uncertainties associated with choosing the envisaged transition pathways, as well as ways to manage the implementation of these pathways and ultimately enable sustainable and lasting social and environmental effects.

This book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and practitioners of environmental and energy policy, low-carbon transitions, renewable energy technologies, climate change action, and sustainability in general.

part I|2 pages

Setting the stage

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part II|2 pages

Pathways for incumbent large-scale technology systems

chapter 3|20 pages


Co-designing a low-carbon transition pathway focusing on energy supply for the iron and steel sector
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chapter 4|22 pages


Finding common ground – the need for plural voices in lower-carbon futures of the Alberta oil sands
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chapter 5|22 pages

United Kingdom

Pathways towards a low-carbon electricity system – nuclear expansion versus nuclear phase out
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part III|2 pages

Pathways towards renewable electricity systems

chapter 6|14 pages


Promoting renewable energy and the risk of energy poverty in Chile
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chapter 7|16 pages

The Netherlands

Expanding solar PV – risks and uncertainties associated with small- and large-scale options
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chapter 8|18 pages


On a rollercoaster of regulatory change – risks and uncertainties associated with renewable energy transitions
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chapter 9|18 pages


Risks associated with implementing a national energy strategy
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part IV|2 pages

Pathways towards energy-efficient building sectors

chapter 10|21 pages


Risks and uncertainties in low-carbon pathways for the urban building sector
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chapter 11|19 pages


From near-term actions to long-term pathways – risks and uncertainties associated with the national energy efficiency framework
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part V|2 pages

Pathways focusing on renewable energy technologies at household and community levels

chapter 12|19 pages


Risks and uncertainties associated with biogas for cooking and electricity
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chapter 13|25 pages


Risks and uncertainties around low-carbon energy pathways
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part VI|2 pages


chapter |2 pages


Key insights on overarching risks across transition pathways
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