Assessing niche development of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) in India

Mansi Jain, Thomas Hoppe, Hans Bressers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Large scale development of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) is seen as a potential solution to deal with future energy challenges of the Indian building sector. This paper aims to assess the current status of NZEB niche development in India and identifies barriers that obstruct wide scale uptake of NZEBs. The paper addresses the research question: How well does NZEB niche development in India perform under an integrated theoretical framework of the Sectoral System Innovation Assessment Framework (SSIAf)? The SSIAf is an integrated assessment framework developed in a previous conceptual study using insights from the theoretical frameworks of Strategic Niche Management (SNM) and Sectoral Innovation Systems (SIS). In this paper the shaping of expectations, actor networks, institutions, learning process and market demand creation form the core theoretical building blocks to analyse the transformative processes. Conceptually speaking, the framework addresses both niche and sectoral regime levels. A case study research design was used to analyse three completed and four on-going NZEB pilot demonstration projects in India. The results show that it is possible to use the comprehensive framework to assess NZEB niche development in India. However, it turned out that some of the frameworks’ components showed a few mutual interdependencies. It is particularly two conceptual building blocks of the SSIAf that are of importance to understand NZEB niche development: (I) actor networks and (ii) institutions. It was observed that these analytical concepts are key driving forces, and also influence the other three components (that is: shaping of expectations, learning process and market demand for NZEBs). Concerning the NZEBs in India, it was observed that the niche development is currently in Research & Development phase, an early form of niche formation process. The study is of importance, since it one of the few studies in which transition theory concepts are applied and tested in a developing country’s building sector.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2015
Event6th International Sustainability Transitions Conference, IST 2015: Sustainability Transitions and Wider Transformative Change: Historical Roots and Future Pathways - University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Aug 201528 Aug 2015
Conference number: 6


Conference6th International Sustainability Transitions Conference, IST 2015
Abbreviated titleIST 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • IR-96885
  • METIS-311317


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