Energy transition in Siberia and Scandinavia: dimensions of transformation

Горбачева Н.В.


The present polycrisis which reveals itself in economic, geopolitical and climate challenges being interwoven and mutually intensified, when conflicts and controversies in the global energy system appear to be more complicated and deeper than anticipated. These make it challenging for many countries to engage in energy transition. As a response to these challenges, current resource, technological, and human flows, which greatly influence the speed, scale, and depth of energy transformation, have been concentrated in megaregional and regional hubs, creating self-sufficient, competitive agglomerations of territorial formations. The Siberia and Scandinavia megaregions appear to be relevant for studying basic transformation processes, which are determined by the availability of resources, sustainability, and innovation of energy use. Both megaregions possess similar environmental characteristics, energy and industrial capacities, quantity of population and level of education, structure of labour force and degree of urbanization. Despite being quite comparable based on a number of similar dimensions, however, they choose different modes of decarbonization, i.e. combination of conventional and renewable sources of energy. On the basis of comparative analysis of energy use in the two similar socio-economic contexts of Siberia and Scandinavia, it is possible to draw a conclusion that, firstly, the availability of commodities, not only energy resources but also rare earth metals, becomes a priority for large-scale energy transition. Secondly, ecological and climate change factors shift focus from cutting emission to removing carbon dioxide with purpose to offset «carbon footprint» from conventional and renewable energy. Thirdly, innovations not only in the energy sector, but also in manufacturing become a key parameter determining the dynamics of energy transformation in the two similar megaregions.


climate change; energy transition; electricity generation; decarbonization; fossil fuels; renewables; innovation; megaregion; Siberia; Scandinavia.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2023.03.02

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