Critical perspectives on disruptive innovation and energy transformation

Charlie Wilson, David Tyfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
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What are ‘disruption’ and ‘disruptive innovation’? And what relevance do they have for energy transformation? Ten critical perspectives offer ten contrasting responses to these questions. The relevance of Christensen’s canonical definition of disruptive innovation is highly contested in its applicability to energy and climate challenges, as is the usefulness of analysing discrete business models or technologies rather than socio-technical systems. Further research on disruptive innovation and energy transformation needs to tackle: (i) the social, systemic and emissions impact of widespread adoption; (ii) how to mitigate the adverse distributional consequences of disruption; (iii) the consumer appeal of ‘good enough’ products for users marginalised or excluded from mainstream markets; (iv) the role of incumbents in system transformation; and (v) the reasons for geographic variation in disruption processes currently underway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Early online date3 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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