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William M. Lafferty, Olav Mosvold Larsen and Audun Ruud

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Edited by William M. Lafferty and Audun Ruud

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William M. Lafferty and Audun Ruud

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William M. Lafferty and Audun Ruud

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Promoting Sustainable Electricity in Europe

Challenging the Path Dependence of Dominant Energy Systems

Edited by William M. Lafferty and Audun Ruud

This is a timely and comparative assessment of initiatives to promote renewable electricity sources (RES-E) in eight European countries. Carried out by the ProSus research programme at the University of Oslo in cooperation with leading research institutions in each country, the book focuses on the promotional schemes used to foster RES-E in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. The book is unique in that it monitors progress on implementing the EU RES-E Directive in relation to the impact of the ‘dominant energy systems’ in each country. Employing notions of ‘path dependency/path creation’, the analysis demonstrates that crucial lessons for promoting RES-E are to be found in the contextual conditions of national and regional settings; conditions that qualify the effects of more general, market-oriented schemes. The conclusions reached are of direct relevance for the ongoing debate as to the most effective policy instruments for achieving sustainable energy and climate policies in Europe.
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Jørgen K. Knudsen and William M. Lafferty

Ever since the World Commission on Environment and Development published Our Common Future (1987) (‘the Brundtland Report’) there has been both an academic and a political focus on the issue of governance for sustainable development (SD). The same report also pointed to the need to amend the political-administrative systems within which sectoral policies – such as energy – are formulated and implemented. A core assumption is that the integration of environmental concerns into decision-making at the outset would provide policy decisions contributing substantially to a transition towards sustainable development. This political-institutional thinking has been associated with the concept of ‘environmental policy integration’ (EPI). Building on previous conceptual and empirical work, the chapter elaborates on ‘EPI’ as a normative-procedural governing mechanism for sustainable development. Emphasis is placed on EPI as an instrument of ‘principled priority’ for resolving trade-offs between economic, social and environmental concerns. The chapter aims at clarifying the meaning of the approach with respect to three major bodies of research in the area: the comprehensive work on the political-strategic nature of EPI; the more academic work on EPI as policy analysis; and the research conducted on the nature and practice of EPI within the European Union. Crucially, it is here contended that an approach stressing the normative-procedural aspect of EPI is completely in line with the normative position of the Brundtland Report. The chapter then briefly indicates three governing mechanisms for strenghtening EPI as ‘procedure’ and ‘policy output’: (1) developing a ‘canon for practical judgement’ for resolving EPI-related trade-offs; (2) strenghtening the canon through a more focused integration of science, strategic assessments and the precautionary principle; and (3) anchoring the mandate for EPI in a more ‘robust’ institutionalisation of ‘political will’ for sustainable development.
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Edited by William M. Lafferty

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William M. Lafferty

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William M. Lafferty