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

Bridge, G.; Bouzarovski, S.; Bradshaw, M.; Eyre, N.

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S. Bouzarovski

M. Bradshaw

N. Eyre


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2013
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2013
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2015
Journal Energy Policy
Print ISSN 0301-4215
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Pages 331-340
Keywords Geography, Transition, Low-carbon
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Published Journal Article (213 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License which permits use,
distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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