A Sociotechnical Mapping of Domestic Biomass Heating Systems in Austria

Rohracher, H. (2002). A sociotechnical mapping of domestic biomass heating systems in Austria. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 22(6), 474-483.

Introducing the perspective of science and technology studies (STS) to the analysis of the design and adoption of environmentally friendly technologies may help develop more effective and diversified strategies for an environmentally oriented technology policy. A case study of the organizational context and sociotechnical network of modern domestic bio-mass heating systems in Austria demonstrates the usefulness of such an approach. Mapping out the sociotechnical system and the guiding visions surrounding the domestic use of biomass and the dynamics of its development may help find effective levers for a technology policy focusing on regional and interactive strategies to influence the organizational context of a technology. In the case of biomass, the target of technology policy shifts from technological research and development to information programs and vocational training for installers, organizational infrastructures for the supply of wood chips, or the elaboration of innovative energy services.

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