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The transition to a “low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by the end of the 
year 2050” has been conceptualised as the “national transition objective” in the Irish Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, passed in late 2015. This has raised a myriad of questions over how this can be operationalised and resourced and whether it can maintain political momentum. This paper assesses the utility of framings informed by the transitions (MLP) and technological innovation systems perspectives in contributing to transformative societal processes, by examining their application in an Irish case study on policy and technology. Through a qualitative exploration of the broader societal and policy context of the energy sector and a more detailed examination of the innovation systems of selected niche technologies (bioenergy and electric vehicles), the Irish case study sought to identify potential catalysts for a sustainability transition in the energy sector in Ireland: where these exist, how these are being built or enabled, and barriers to change. Following a discussion on the theoretical approaches used, a description will be given of how these were applied in the conducting of the research on transition in Ireland case study and the key findings which emerged. A critical reflection will then be made on the utility of these perspectives (as applied) to contribute to broader processes of societal transformation in Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 09 Sep 2016
EventInternational Sustainabilty Transitions Conference 2016 - Wuppertal University, Wuppertal, Germany
Duration: 06 Sep 201609 Sep 2016


ConferenceInternational Sustainabilty Transitions Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleIST2016
Internet address


  • Energy Transitions
  • Ireland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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