The sun also rises in Norway: Solar scientists as transition actors
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 2015 10.1016/j.eist.2015.01.002
This study contributes to transition studies through an empirical analysis of scientists at the Norwegian Research Center for Solar Cell Technology. From a policy perspective, this research center is a concrete undertaking within transitions politics. How do solar energy scientists make sense of this mission and what strategies do they adopt? The analysis adopts a bottom-up perspective focusing on the politics involved in actor-networks constructing and empowering sustainable innovations. I suggest the micro/macro divide characterising transition studies may be discarded, if we recognize that actors operate both on niche, regime, and landscape level. Instead of presuming a multi-level perspective, transition studies could analyse the multi-actor politics of translations in arenas of development. Adopting this approach, I argue that solar scientists pursue mainly two lines of activities: improving efficiency (translations to fit and conform) and challenging negative hegemonic representations of solar energy (translations to stretch and transform).