Despite reaching its EU 2020 renewable energy target by 2012, domestic support for renewable energy sources (RES) in Bulgaria has been steadily declining, while numerous retroactive measures have left RES capacities stranded and many RES projects in limbo. On the other hand, Bulgaria is facing a significant reduction in its electricity capacities by 2030 with the closure of coal power plants and its nuclear power plant. Furthermore, as one of the newest members of the European Union (EU), Bulgaria has had access to a wide range of funding for renewable energy projects. This chapter considers what factors drove the development and subsequent stagnation of the Bulgarian RES sector and why Bulgaria seems to be a reluctant overachiever. The research aims to explain national policy change in two areas: the promotion of renewable electricity, and biofuels in the transport sector. The main research question is to what extent Europeanization mechanisms – the result of EU accession and pre-accession conditionality – explain the growth and stagnation of the renewable energy market. In conclusion it is argued that top-down Europeanization was a highly influential process in determining renewable sector developments. However, instead of acting as a catalyst for the growth of a sustainable RES industry, EU pressure resulted only in a temporary change in investment opportunities, failing to effect long-term change in the beliefs and expectations of key domestic actors in the energy sector. Keywords: biofuels policy, Bulgaria, Europeanization, policy resistance, renewable electricity policy, renewable energy policy
Ralitsa Hiteva and Tomas Maltby
Ralitsa Hiteva, Tim Foxon and Katherine Lovell
This chapter discusses the political economy of low carbon infrastructure, proposing an extended, and inclusive definition of low carbon infrastructure. This places emphasis on adopting a systemic approach, building on integration between different elements, interdependencies, and cumulative and networked effects of infrastructure. Changes in governance arrangements could promote more inclusive infrastructure decision-making processes and enable greater consistency in aligning with the UK’s low carbon commitments under the Paris Agreement and the Climate Change Act. This requires attention to be paid to the range of social, environmental and economic values (social justice, equality and giving people more influence in important government decisions), which struggle to find place in traditional cost–benefit analysis of infrastructure. Using a business model framework for thinking about infrastructure in terms of creating and capturing value, the chapter shows how certain elements of low carbon infrastructure can be used to address core governance challenges through two case studies: of transnational municipal networks and local supply networks.