The authors reflect on the availability of initial socio-technical resources in the form of established platforms, policy motivations, and the roles of different stakeholders. They analyse how socio-technical networks evolved over time in response to enabling policies and interest groups as well as opposition groups in four different bioenergy segments: solid biomass for district heating in Sweden, charcoal for iron and steel industry in Brazil, and ethanol for transport in both countries.

The Swedish and Brazilian experiences illustrate the importance of coordinating policies between local and national levels and across sectors in order to advance modern bioenergy platforms. The focus on Sweden—an EU and global bioenergy pioneer—along with Brazil—a recognized global biofuels leader—helps to illustrate the linkages to regional and global markets that are important for European energy transitions.

The analysis also emphasizes the need to look beyond the energy sector, considering actors and stakeholders’ interests at large, as well as broad boundaries for socio-technical regimes. It draws on the established literature concerning socio-technical transitions, innovation systems and systems approaches.