Institutional factors that determine energy transitions: A comparative case study approach

Auriane Magdalena Koster, John Anderies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we consider energy transitions as important elements of attaining development goals. In the development context, energy transitions pose both challenges and opportunities. Obstacles to transitions include (1) an existing, centralized, complex energy-grid system, whose function is opaque to most users, (2) coordination and collective-action problems that are path dependent, and (3) difficulty in scaling-up RE technologies. Because energy transitions rely on both technological and social innovations, we are interested in how institutional factors can be leveraged to surmount these obstacles. This research attempts to address the question of what constellation of institutional, biophysical, and social factors are essential for an energy transition. Our objective is to derive a set of "design principles" that we term institutional drivers for energy transitions, analogous to Ostrom's institutional design principles. This chapter will analyze energy transitions using the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework (IADF) to conduct a comparative case-study analysis. The comparative case-study analysis allows us to uncover recurring patterns across cases that help to identify institutional factors associated with energy transitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-61
Number of pages29
JournalLecture Notes in Energy
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy

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