Challenging the Path Dependence of Dominant Energy Systems
Edited by William M. Lafferty and Audun Ruud
Chapter 10: Conclusion: Energy Path Dependence and the Promotion of RES-E in Europe
William M. Laﬀerty and Audun Ruud THE NEED FOR A MORE CONTEXT-SENSITIVE ENERGY POLICY As indicated in the introductory chapter, the project on ‘Promoting sustainable electricity in Europe’ (SUSTEN) was conceived as a focus project for studying how European states work with the challenge of governing/ governance for sustainable development. The essential idea of the project has been to choose a speciﬁc initiative at the level of the European Union, an initiative that all Member States and associated states of the Union are committed to implementing. The initiative chosen is the so-called ‘RES-E Directive’: the Directive on ‘the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market’, referred to here as the ‘RES-E Directive’ (OJEC 2001). The most general analytic level of the project is thus the status of the RES-E Directive as a speciﬁc initiative for promoting the sustainable development ‘agenda’ in Europe. As further pointed out in the introduction, however, the Directive has also been viewed by the EU itself (most particularly the EU Commission) as an essential part of the ‘Lisbon agenda’ for achieving a more ‘competitive Europe’ through the promotion of innovation, technological competence and employment. Any assessment of the implementation of the RES-E Directive must, therefore, be seen in the light of the alternative values of the two agendas. Further, as we have increasingly understood throughout the study itself, this implies a more critical focus on the monitoring and assessment role of the European Commission. We return to...
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