Sociotechnical scenarios for the Austrian energy system
1 Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
2 Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture, Graz, Austria
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Reducing greenhouse gases by 80%, as demanded by the IPCC, is one of the great long-term challenges facing our societies today and will doubtless require transformative changes to current energy regimes. Large-scale system transitions such as the one envisaged for the global energy system in the next 30–40 years can only be realized through complex processes of change involving global, regional, national, and local levels.
In this paper we use sociotechnical scenario analysis to contribute ideas for the transformative change of the current Austrian energy system over the long term and to identify some of the particular policy measures, as well as structural changes and broader shifts in perspective, that would be necessary to deal with such challenges. There is less emphasis on the technical issues involved than on the socio-economic and governance requirements such a shift would demand.
We also explain our experiences with the sociotechnical scenario process and its outcomes. In particular, we identify examples of some critical issues and opportunities within one of the identified key action fields and discuss their various implications for energy policy and everyday practices.
Key words: Energy system / sociotechnical scenarios / stakeholder involvement / backcasting
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012