Environmental innovation and societal transitions | VOL. 34
Saskatchewan’s energy future: Risk and pathways analysis


Abstract Literature on socio-technical transitions acknowledge that negative risk perception is important to socio-technical transitions. This article argues that beyond identifying risk as a potential barrier, the acceptance or rejection of innovative options because of risks is a predictor of the transition pathway being adopted. This article analyses discussions from citizen’s jury sessions held in three Saskatchewan cities to identify how local citizens perceive risk in low carbon base-load technologies. It shows how risk analysis influence choices of power generation technologies, which in turn influence energy systems transition pathways in Saskatchewan. It finds that in Saskatchewan, a history of usage and consumption, rather than cost or technical risk, is the strongest factor influencing people’s perception and tolerance of risk in innovative technologies in the energy sector, allowing for options such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) to be deployed.

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