Exploring system innovation in the electricity system through sociotechnical scenarios

Peter Hofman, Boelem Elzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


There is a need for scenario methods specifically designed to explore the complex nature of systems innovation, especially since systems innovations are needed to solve the climate change problem and to deal with the finity of fossil fuels. This paper develops sociotechnical scenarios as a method that can complement existing scenario methods in exploring system innovation. Sociotechnical scenarios are not predictions of the future but can help to design more robust transition oriented policies. They can give insight in the various complex processes at work in systems change, in driving forces and promising combinations of technological, societal and institutional change. The paper illustrates the method by developing three transition pathways and draws policy recommendations for transitions towards low carbon futures based upon these.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-760
JournalTechnology analysis & strategic management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Scenarios
  • System innovation
  • Electricity system
  • Sociotechnical scenarios


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