Postscript: Can energy researchers and policy makers change their spots?

Elizabeth Shove, Jenny Rinkinen, Jacopo Torriti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Fables are short stories, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral. When widely told and regularly repeated they become taken-for-granted truths – normative guides that steer action. In reviewing some of the fables that populate the energy sector, the essays in this collection interrogate recurrent themes and established narratives. They do so at a moment when the field is in flux. The scale of what is involved in meeting carbon reduction targets is gradually becoming apparent. The supply mix is changing with the introduction of renewable sources of energy and with the electrification of services such as heating and transport. Smart meters are generating more data than has ever been available, and there is renewed interest in issues of flexibility and timing as these affect the balancing of supply and demand. Questions about when energy is used raise others about what it is used for, and about how energy-demanding practices vary and 120change. Meanwhile, dominant metaphors and metrics remain rooted in an era of seemingly endless power, and in ideologies of individual consumer choice, market competition and resource economics. © 2019 selection and editorial matter, Jenny Rinkinen, Elizabeth Shove and Jacopo Torriti; individual chapters, the contributors. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy Fables : Challenging Ideas in the Energy Sector
Number of pages9
PublisherTaylor and Francis (Routledge)
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9780429674242
ISBN (Electronic)9780367027759
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • 5141 Sociology

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