The Nordic welfare model providing energy transition? A political geography approach to the EU RES directive

Westholm, Erik and Lindahl, Karin Beland (2012) The Nordic welfare model providing energy transition? A political geography approach to the EU RES directive. Energy Policy, 50. pp. 328-335. ISSN 0301-4215

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Abstract

The EU Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) Directive requires that each member state obtain 20% of its energy supply from renewable sources by 2020. If fully implemented, this implies major changes in institutions, infrastructure, land use, and natural resource flows. This study applies a political geography perspective to explore the transition to renewable energy use in the heating and cooling segment of the Swedish energy system, 1980-2010. The Nordic welfare model, which developed mainly after the Second World War, required relatively uniform, standardized local and regional authorities functioning as implementation agents for national politics. Since 1980, the welfare orientation has gradually been complemented by competition politics promoting technological change, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This combination of welfare state organization and competition politics provided the dynamics necessary for energy transition, which occurred in a semi-public sphere of actors at various geographical scales. However, our analysis, suggest that this was partly an unintended policy outcome, since it was based on a welfare model with no significant energy aims. Our case study suggests that state organization plays a significant role, and that the EU RES Directive implementation will be uneven across Europe, reflecting various welfare models with different institutional pre-requisites for energy transition. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Future Forest Subject: Skogsbruk i klimatförändringens tid > Olika systemlösningar
Skogsbruk för många olika nyttor > Styrningsmodeller för skogsbruk
Depositing User: Christer Enkvist
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 14:31
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2017 14:31
URI: https://ffpdb.slu.se/id/eprint/3720

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