Departmental seminar and public lecture by Professor Kathleen Araujo, Department of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University

On Friday, March 13 Professor Kathleen Araujo of the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University gave a public lecture which also served as the first departmental seminar of the academic year.  Her topic was “Catalyzing Change: Policy, Players, and Innovation in National Energy Transformation.” The following is an abstract of her presentation.

All too often, discussion about the imperative to change national energy pathways revolves around long timescales and least cost economics of near-term energy alternatives. While both elements matter, they don't fully reflect what can drive such development trajectories. This research explores national energy transitions by examining ways in which prime mover countries of low carbon energy technology shift away from fossil fuels. The research examines key actors, policy, and pivotal innovations  in the scale-up of advanced, alternative energy technologies. Cases, including that of Brazilian biofuels and French nuclear power, are evaluated for a period of multiple decades. Fundamentally, the research finds that significant change can occur in under 15 years; that technology complexity need not impede change; and that countries of varying governance approaches and consumption levels can effectuate substantial realignments.