Poster

Transformative Innovation Policies for Renewable Energy Production: The Case of Biogas in Developing Country

Abstract

For developing countries, energy is a fundamental resource for its existence and functioning. In this scenario of constant growth demand, diversification of the energy matrix is a necessity, making evident the need for incentive and investment in new forms of energy generation, especially sustainable ones, influencing the current global dependence on fossil fuels. Biogas technology emerges as an alternative to the energy segment. The technology is suitable for different productive scales and geographical environments, as well as having different purposes that include generation of electric, thermal and vehicular energy, which can be used to supply rural properties, with cost reduction and income generation to owners. From a sustainability perspective, biogas assists in the proper disposal of waste from agriculture, livestock and urban areas, as well as encourages decentralized energy distribution, thus increasing its added value. Biogas has an extremely favorable condition in Brazil.

Loorbach (2007) and Markard et al. (2012) argue that innovative transitions generate disruptions at various levels and that transitions bring with them the potential for innovation, as they are generally present in all transitions (Geels, 2004; Kemp, 2011). The complexity of the challenges encountered in the context of renewable energy demands the use of a broader concept of innovation, which considers not only technological innovation but behavioral, institutional and social innovation (Van den Hove, 2012).

The project analyzes the process of sustainable biogas energy generation in the Brazilian scenario through the functions of the technological innovation system (Bergek et al., 2008; Wicki & Hansen, 2017). This analysis perspective allows us to verify the fulfillment of each of the seven system functions as well as the interactive dynamics among them. Understanding that technologies, actors and institutions co-determine and need to be analyzed together (Bergek et al., 2008; Wicki & Hansen, 2017), the research is supported by systems innovation theory (IST). This approach takes into account all activity involved in the development, diffusion, and use of innovations as system functions, so that development occurs by satisfactorily fulfilling all of the functions listed.

The research contribution to TIPS researches considers that countries under development require particular attention in terms of innovation policies for the socio-technical transition to sustainability, and the experiences of these countries may bring new theoretical insights to TIPs. In addition to it, innovation policies for developing countries follow the R&D Policy Guidelines (Phase 1) and in some cases are starting Phase 2 – Innovation Systems. The identification of new avenues for demand-driven policies is another contribution.

The project is part of the 2030 agenda proposed by the United Nations to meet the 17 goals of sustainable development. The research is developed by the INSU research group at Positivo University, whose researches are member of Sustainability Transition Brazil and Global South Transition.

Themes:

  1. Governance and politics of transformative innovation policy in connection with SDGs
  2. The role of specific actors in transformative change: Governments, businesses, scholars, civil society organisations

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