The Governance of Energy Megaprojects

The Governance of Energy Megaprojects

Politics, Hubris and Energy Security

Benjamin K. Sovacool and Christopher J. Cooper

Based on extensive original research, this book explores the technical, social, political, and economic dimensions of four Asian energy megaprojects: a regional natural gas pipeline network in Southeast Asia, a series of hydroelectric dams on the island of Borneo, an oil pipeline linking Europe with the Caspian Sea, and a very large solar energy array in the Gobi desert.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Benjamin K. Sovacool and Christopher J. Cooper

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, environment, energy policy and regulation, environmental governance and regulation

Extract

In 2010, the History and Heritage Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Hoover Dam. In its time, the dam was the most ambitious infrastructure project in the United States and it ushered in an age of federal megaproject development. Among most engineers and historians, Hoover Dam was a resounding success. Despite enormous technical, physical and managerial challenges, the dam was completed two years ahead of schedule and within budget. By all measures, it was a model of megaproject management. Federal financing was secured through long-term power purchase agreements. Long before the dam was in operation, all the interested parties agreed to a plan to divide the revenue and benefits, including water and power products. During construction, the private contractor and the major governmental agency involved (the Federal Bureau of Reclamation) enjoyed a mutually constructive relationship.