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Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)
CET Lunch Seminar

Riding the S-curve: the global uptake of wind and solar power

CET is happy to announce the upcoming seminar with Dr Vadmin Vinichenko from CET on Wednesday the 5th of June, 12.15 - 13:00.

graph showing s cruve
Due to a common pattern of new technology deployment (so-called “S-curve”), the takeoff time can largely explain the subsequent growth of renewable energy
Photo:
Vadim Vinichenko

Main content

What is the global pattern of renewable energy adoption, and how is it underpinned by national-level processes? Which countries are the first to adopt renewable energy and will latecomers catch up? To answer this question with regard to renewable electricity sources, I define the concept of “renewable energy takeoff”, which occurs when the share of renewable energy reaches 1% of the total electricity supply and marks the transition to sustained growth. Due to a common pattern of new technology deployment (so-called “S-curve”), the takeoff time can largely explain the subsequent growth of renewable energy. Using the takeoff date as a dependent variable for event history analysis, I identify political and economic factors that make early takeoff at the national level more or less likely, as well as casual mechanisms behind these factors. Seen as a case of innovation diffusion, the story of renewable electricity uptake provides lessons for global deployment of other technologies.

 

Vadim Vinichenko is a postdoctoral fellow at CET. He got his PhD degree in environmental sciences and policy from Central European University, Budapest. His research interests include energy transitions, energy system analysis, diffusion of innovations, and integration of disciplinary perspectives on transitions.