Apples, oranges, and consistent comparisons of the temporal dynamics of energy transitions

Arnulf Grubler, Charlie Wilson, Gregory Nemet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)
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Benjamin Sovacool (2016) has provided interesting food for thought in asking “how long will it take?” for the unfolding of energy transitions. Historical evidence of “grand” or global energy system transitions taking decades to centuries to unfold contrasted with highly selective recent and rapid examples of mostly incremental technological change make for an engaging argument. But the observed contrasts are due to the apples-and-oranges comparison between transitions that are measured differently, defined differently, characterized by different processes, and explained differently.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Early online date3 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Technology diffusion
  • Energy transitions
  • Adoption rates

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