Geographies of energy transition : space, place and the low-carbon economy

Gavin Bridge, Stefan Bouzarovski, Michael Bradshaw, Nick Eyre

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529 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper makes a case for examining energy transition as a geographical process, involving the reconfiguration of current patterns and scales of economic and social activity. The paper draws on a seminar series on the ‘Geographies of Energy Transition: security, climate, governance' hosted by the authors between 2009 and 2011, which initiated a dialogue between energy studies and the discipline of human geography. Focussing on the UK Government's policy for a low carbon transition, the paper provides a conceptual language with which to describe and assess the geographical implications of a transition towards low carbon energy. Six concepts are introduced and explained: location, landscape, territoriality, spatial differentiation, scaling, and spatial embeddedness. Examples illustrate how the geographies of a future low-carbon economy are not yet determined and that a range of divergent – and contending – potential geographical futures are in play. More attention to the spaces and places that transition to a low-carbon economy will produce can help better understand what living in a low-carbon economy will be like. It also provides a way to help evaluate the choices and pathways available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-340
JournalEnergy Policy
Early online date29 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • Geography
  • Transition
  • Low-carbon


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