Session 11

Indicators for measuring the resilience of energy transitions
Claudia R. Binder, Susan Muehlemeier, Romano Wyss
EPFL, Switzerland

The transition of our current energy system as the process of societal change from a fossil-based to a renewable energy system, is likely to be one of the most complex and long-term societal transitions in history. It will require changes not only in the technological, but also in the social systems leading to e.g. new behavioural patterns and new governance structures. When analysing the energy transition at the regional level, one can observe that some of the “energy regions” have been quite successful in the energy transition, achieving a new institutional structure and increasing the share of own renewable energy sources in their energy supply or even being able to export energy to other regions. However, a few years after the initial enthusiasm we can observe a hiatus emerges as the expected outcomes in energy self-sufficiency are not reached within the time they were envisioned to do so. Two pressing questions in this context are a) what determines the continuity of the transition process, and b) what are useful indicators to monitor the energy transition process itself.
We present a set of indicators which allow understanding the resilience of the transition process at different points of the transition process. The proposed indicators cover the social and technical system, as well as the interaction between both systems. We apply the indicators to two case studies of regional energy transition in Austria. These regions started their transition in the early 1990ies and followed different strategies reaching also different degrees of, e.g. energy self-sufficiency. We show how the differences in their strategy can be mapped in term of the developed indicators and what this implies for the resilience of the regional energy transition.