Transnational linkages in sustainability experiments: A typology and the case of solar photovoltaic energy in India

Anna J. Wieczorek, Rob Raven, Frans Berkhout

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This paper explores transnational linkages in sustainability experiments. Transnational linkages refer to diverse cross-border relationships and interactions that can complement local, regional and national capabilities enabling sustainability experiments. The paper develops a typology of transnational linkages and applies it to solar photovoltaic energy initiatives in India. Our analysis shows that transnational linkages appear to be almost universal in these experiments. Of seven solar photovoltaic technology domains present in the sample, experiments in only one - off-grid power plants - can be characterised as predominantly domestic. These findings underscore the significance of capabilities, resources and linkages spanning local, regional and national scales in innovative solar PV experiments in India, suggesting similar patterns for other socio-technical experiments. This study contributes to an emerging literature on the geography of sustainable transitions, which argues for a move away from a predominantly national framing in transition studies to embrace a multi-scalar understanding of transition processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-165
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Developing Asia
  • Geography of sustainability transitions
  • Solar PV
  • Sustainability experiments
  • Transnational linkages

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