The Role of Experiments and Demonstration Projects in Efforts of Upscaling: An Analysis of Two Projects Attempting to Reconfigure Production and Consumption in Energy and Mobility
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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There is a multitude of experimentation, pilot and demonstration projects across Europe aiming to reconfigure energy consumption and production systems. Demo-projects and experiments have been recognized as important instruments to implement sustainability transitions in practice. Transition scholars have done much to clarify how we should understand experiments and pilot projects, focusing on involved actors, what is learned, and how the knowledge is used. In this paper we study two pilot project and discuss their qualities as sites that bundle new systemic properties, technologies, regulations, business models and user practices in new ways. We discuss these cases as new configurations with promising transformative implications. The two cases studied are a Norwegian and an Austrian smart grid demonstration. Both cases represent companies that have transformed their relation to and participation in the transport system as an outcome of pilot projects and experiments. The study analyses the complexity of factors influencing the effectiveness and success of these reconfigurations in providing destabilization and change within until now relatively stable regimes.