MRSS: Routes to Innovation and Justice in Lithuanian Energy Culture
Energy culture is embedded systems of knowledge, behaviors, beliefs mobilizing state and private resources within a geographic area, through a process of intent to innovate new energy technologies and business platforms, improve security and practices benefiting society. This article sets out to answer two research questions to demonstrate how a framework based on energy cultures contributes to a more effective understanding of the interaction of science, technology and innovation deliver efficient results for society. The research questions are: 1) What role does a nation-state’s energy culture play in technology transformation; and 2) How can energy culture explain energy transformations in society?
Drawing on the frameworks of National Innovation Systems and energy justice, this article demonstrates how the concept of energy culture can highlight interlinked concepts of innovation and equity in the energy system of a nation-state. The case of Lithuania demonstrates how changing the culture of energy altered its resource and technology dependence on Russia to embrace new technologies and business models to integrate into the European Union energy market. The leasing of an LNG regasification ship and domestic innovation of a biomass market and boilers, by Lithuanian businesses enabled diversification and a reorientation of the energy system, reducing the threat from Russia and increasing energy security and affordability for consumers. Lithuania’s new energy culture demonstrates how social and technical innovation driven by concepts of energy justice can deliver a socio-political transition in energy technologies and society.