Renewable energy clusters and districts: patterns, strengths, differences in a world in transition

Session organisers:
  • Marcello Graziano (Southern Connecticut State University, USA)
  • Christina Hoicka (University of Victoria, Canada)

The related yet different concepts of clusters and industrial districts have played a central role as loci where innovative technologies and practices were created and diffused. As post-pandemic efforts implement rapid decarbonizations and/or sustainable transition processes emerge across countries, clusters of renewable and low-carbon innovations, also called renewable energies industrial clusters (REICs), are seen as pivotal places for dramatically speeding up these processes. REICs combine multiple renewable technologies (e.g., wind and solar complementarity) with flexibility for balancing, such as storage, demand response, virtual power plants, and peer to peer sharing, and build upon regional agglomeration economies.
The emergence, creation, and management of REICs and their socioeconomic impacts cut across multiple fields related to diffusion of innovations: from the sociotechnical forum of technology innovation system (TIS) approaches, to energy geography and peer-based studies, to spatial and regional approaches.
This session offers a space for researchers working on REICs of all types and technologies, and from various perspectives, to present their ongoing research. Examples of fitting topics include:

  • Drivers of REICs emergence
  • Role of REICs in accelerating low-carbon transitions
  • Knowledge transfer processes within REICs
  • Analysis of industrial policies for creating REICs
  • Actors’ structure within REICs
  • Social and/or economic impacts of REICs
  • Role of public institutions (e.g. higher education) in creating REICs


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