Carbon Capture and Storage: A Disruptive Innovation for Innovation Theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


The emergence of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) as a signifi cant part
of envisaged energy futures in the UK and internationally has coincided with more
urgent imperatives for energy system change. This chapter argues that the CCS
case, as a regime-led innovation, challenges the prevailing models of innovation
theory articulated within innovation studies over the past two decades. In particular, CCS is seen here as a disruptive technology for constructivist theories of innovation – especially transitions theory, but also technological innovation systems theory.
The emergence of regime-led innovations such as CCS challenges some of the
main tenets of constructivist-based innovation theories, especially their emphasis
on niche-led disruptive innovation as a primary driver of socio-technical system
change. Under stronger and more urgent imperatives for change – environmental,
economic and security of supply – policymakers have sought to develop responses by directly engaging with incumbent organisations and networks. As a result, more centrally co-ordinated energy innovation systems have emerged, and these have directed considerable eff orts on regime-led innovations such as CCS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Social Dynamics of Carbon Capture and Storage
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding CCS Representations, Governance and Innovation
EditorsNils Markusson, Simon Shackley, Benjamin Evar
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-1-84971-314-6
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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