Towards a Green Energy Economy? Assessing policy choices, strategies and transitional pathways

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The term ‘Green Energy Economy’ (GEE) received increasing policy and scientific attention following the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, leading to the implementation of numerous ‘Green Growth’ economic stimulus packages that targeted low-carbon energy technologies. These initiatives were portrayed as key elements in the transition to a green economy, in which low-carbon energy systems would play a vital role. However, and setting aside conceptual variations, uncertainties and fragmented knowledge remain in the interplay between a green economy, low-carbon energy systems and governance. This research area raises various questions regarding the performance, implications and complexities of policies and strategies addressing GEE transitional pathways. In addition, achieving a GEE compatible with climate, social and economic goals is an enormous challenge for society, and goes beyond the technological domain. This special issue provides a series of articles that critically investigate these concerns from an interdisciplinary point of view, and provide relevant policy insights using a variety of analytical approaches. Overall, they call for strong leadership, ambitious policy instruments, rigorous assessments, effective multi-level governance, inter/national cooperation, institutional capacity development, and the immediate alignment of the financial system with the energy sector on numerous challenges associated with the GEE transition. It is concluded that not only from an environmental point of view, but also due to economic and social reasons, the GEE transition needs to be accelerated and that a radical transformation is required.


External organisations
  • Basque Centre for Climate Change
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
  • Mälardalen University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences
  • Energy Systems


  • Green Energy Economy, Green growth, Low-carbon energy technologies, Policies and strategies, Transitional pathways
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1292
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

Lena Neij, Luis Mundaca, Jonas Sonnenschein, Jessika Luth Richter, Lars Strupeit, Alvar Palm & Brian Cloughley


Project: Commissioned research

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