The important role of justice in energy transition technologies has been a topic of increasing interest in recent years. However, key questions remain about how inequities influence energy transition innovations (ETIs) from their design to their widespread use, which ETIs receive more funding, and who controls ETI research, prototyping and deployment. Here we propose a framework to centre justice in energy transition innovations (CJI) and examine how three tenets of justice (recognition, procedural and distributional justice) influence each level of ETI, including niche, regime and landscape levels. We examine wind energy in Mexico and multiple ETIs in Los Angeles as use cases to show how our CJI framework can help reveal the specific inequities undermining just energy transitions at crucial analytical levels of ETI in practice. Our CJI framework offers a path for promoters, practitioners and underserved communities to target the problems these groups face and create ETIs that better address their specific aspirations, needs and circumstances.
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This work was authored in part by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, for the US Department of Energy (DOE) under contract no. DE-AC36-08GO28308. Funding was provided by the US DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The views expressed in the Article do not necessarily represent the views of the DOE or the US Government. The US Government retains, and the publisher, by accepting the Article for publication, acknowledges that the US Government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for US Government purposes.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Romero-Lankao, P., Rosner, N., Brandtner, C. et al. A framework to centre justice in energy transition innovations. Nat Energy 8, 1192–1198 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-023-01351-3