Energy systems around the globe face multiple, major pressures to transform into more sustainable ones. Over the past decades numerous, potentially sustainable energy innovations have been proposed, studied, developed and implemented to varying degrees. In the field of transition studies, scholars have used the notion of 'protective space' to study how such innovations emerge, grow, survive and decline over time, but few take an explicit political perspective on these dynamics. This editorial briefly reviews why such a perspective is necessary, and, on the basis of the contributions in this special issue, what it could entail in evolutionary, relational and institutional terms. The paper ends with six lessons for those involved in sustainable innovation advocacy.
- Protective space