Researchers at University College London (UCL) reveal insights that challenge the ‘sunset’ versus ‘sunrise’ (declining vs emerging) industries divide, providing a roadmap for navigating sociotechnical energy transitions. Declining sunset industries manage substantial assets but face devaluation which can disrupt local and national economies. Emerging sunrise industries have high innovation potential but struggle to attract sustained investor interest and risk market instability and financial bubbles.

The project, titled ‘The Political Economy of Sunset vs. Sunrise Industry Strategies,’ investigated the complexities of transitioning from high-carbon to low or zero carbon industries, highlighting strategies, opportunities, and challenges.


Key Highlights of the Research:

Beyond the divide: The research analyses the interplay between ‘sunset’ and ‘sunrise’ industries and their strategies at different stages of their evolution in the face of energy transitions.

Transition complexities: The study addresses the economic, political, and social implications at both industry and policy levels.

Industry’s Crucial Role: The study offers a comprehensive analysis of strategies employed by industries, foregrounding industries’ crucial role in enabling transitions with a direct link between the decline of carbon-intensive practices and socio-economic stability.

Political Economy Insights: The research highlights challenges and opportunities for both businesses and society, emphasising early citizen engagement, industry-driven innovation, and clear government policies as crucial elements.

These findings have led to the creation of three policy briefs offering actionable recommendations and innovative solutions for firms and governments to bridge the gap between declining and emerging industry paradigms.


To access these briefs and delve deeper into the research, visit the Knowledge Hub.