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Sustainable Energy

The geography of diffusion of disruptive clusters of low-carbon and renewable energy innovations

2021-2025, Hoicka, C.E. (PI), collaborators: Berube, A., Brisbois, MC, Castleden, H., Graziano, M., Lewis, D., Lieu, J., Ramirez-Camargo, L, “Do disruptive renewable energy innovations in local contexts accelerate a just and democratic energy Transition?” Social Science and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant, $241, 052

2021-2026, Hoicka, C.E. (PI) Identifying the consequential risks, benefits, and socio-technical strategies of diffusion of innovations in a low-carbon energy transition. Ontario Early Researcher Award ER19-15-298, 2021-2026, $150,000. 

An energy transition is underway in Ontario, and in other provinces in Canada. The emergence of ‘smart grids’ — digitally enabled electricity infrastructure — and flexible technologies on the distribution grid are entering energy markets and systems globally and changing relationships between consumers and producers of energy. There are many benefits to the widespread adoption of these low-carbon innovations and an energy transition, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and economic and industrial policy goals of market creation and new business lines, and improved quality of life in Ontario. However, there are also negative consequences, such as rising costs or localized reduction of reliable energy. This research takes both a technical and social science lens to understand the risks and benefits of the widespread adoption of these low-carbon innovations, and will provide analysis on how to track innovations risks, benefits, and design interventions to increase the benefits and mitigate risks.

2021, Hoicka, C.E., Graziano, M., Zhao, Y. Comparing and combining regional and sustainability transitions approaches to analyze the emergence of clusters of renewable and low-carbon innovations, Smart Prosperity Institute, $10,000. 

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