The transition design

Conception of the transition

The first part of this research focus aims to unravel the mechanisms and dynamics of transitions. The goal is to identify the mechanisms and processes that contribute to triggering and implementing strong, rapid decarbonization.

One of the specific areas of this research involves devising transition models to support our analyses and reflections on a clear framework. The models could be inspired by analogies, for example with phase transition physics, or could derive from retrospective analyses, etc. This should allow us to define clear objectives and evaluate the effective state of the transition of technical, social, economic, and political systems, and the conditions for directing them towards a low-carbon system.

The second part will be devoted to studying the nature of the movement and forms of organizations that could lead to accomplishing this transition towards a desired unknown outcome. This approach could be inspired from different contexts, e.g. the semi-conductor field, where Moore’s Law has led to investigate models and organizations in order to rethink our use of semi-conductors and potential alternatives, taking into account the difficulties related to the complexities of global supply chains and resource availability issues. This work should lead to reflections on new forms of organization and governance suitable for carrying out the transitions targeted.

Engineering the transition

In this part, we investigate low-carbon solutions and their regulatory environment, namely, the financial levers and public policies associated with the transition (investments, taxes, redistribution, subsidies) that should initiate then steer the decarbonization process. This involves considering both potential solutions relating to low-carbon production (green energy, CO2 capture, etc.) and potential solutions based on the modification of consumption (sobriety, efficiency, etc.). To avoid one person’s solutions becoming another person’s problem, these solutions will always be evaluated through different disciplinary, temporal and spatial approaches, and in terms of their interaction and integration with economic, energy, political and social systems. .

For example, technological solutions concerning buildings will be discussed in relation to their integration into the energy system at different levels, to the related consumption questions (self-consumption, digital externality), the use of nudges, insulating material, household equipment, behavior, policy, standards, subsidies, competitiveness, etc. Concerning the integration of CO2 capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), or the use of hydrogen in a reconfiguration of the industrial sector, we will look at both technical issues and issues of acceptability, the geopolitical consequences of reorganizing industries, and industrial policies for deploying the technologies themselves, etc.

Chercheurs référents :

ACHARD Patrick (patrick.achard(at), PERSEE – Mines Paris

CABANES Benjamin (Benjamin.cabanes(at), IHEIE – Mines Paris

CANTOURNET Sabine (Sabine.cantournet(at), MAT – Mines Paris

GLACHANT Matthieu (matthieu.glachant(at), CERNA – Mines Paris

JAHANGIR Emad (emad.jahangir(at), GEOSCIENCES – Mines Paris

MICHIORRI Andrea (andrea.michiorri(at), PERSEE – Mines Paris

PEUPORTIER Bruno (bruno.peuportier(at), CES – Mines Paris

WEIL Benoît (benoit.weil(at), CGS – Mines Paris

You will find a summary of the research carried out in this area soon in our “Resources” section.

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