The uptick in technological innovation requires new ways of organizing and governing energy supply and systems. This paper seeks to describe social innovation and its implications for energy transitions by analyzing it from the perspectives of behavioral science, social science, and governance. The authors posit that, within the context of an energy transition, social innovations include those that contribute to low-carbon energy transitions, civic empowerment, and social goals pertaining to the general well-being of communities.
The authors then explore common themes that emerged from the 20 article contributions they received for this study. These themes touch on a wide range of topics, including the relationship between technological and social innovation, community-based energy systems, participatory research approaches, how to stimulate behavior patterns, and even energy games. The authors conclude by suggesting areas of future research related to these themes.