Issue 04 / 2011

The Neglected Consumer: The Case of the Smart Meter Rollout in the Netherlands
LLM Robin Hoenkamp, Prof. Dr. George B. Huitema, Prof. Dr. Adrienne J.C. de Moor-van Vugt
Smart metering is an important tool in support of the transition to decentralized renewable energy production. However, the introduction of such a new tool requires careful preparation in order to convince people to accept it in their homes. The Dutch experience shows, that smart metering is up for failure when the technical and commercial aspects are considered to be more important than the interests of the end users. This paper examines the procedural and material prerequisites to engineer standards for smart metering in such a way that the interests of all parties involved are reflected in the outcome.
Green Energy Policies in South East Europe – The Impact of Prospective EU Membership
Nina Soljan, Seth Landau
This paper examines the reasons for the adoption of “green” policies in the field of energy and climate change in four South East European (SEE) countries – Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). It evaluates the extent to which these policies are influenced by the European Union (EU) as opposed to other factors, such as international obligations, domestic pressures (from NGOs, the private sector, political parties), perceived business opportunities, or concern for the environment. Theoretically, the paper primarily relies on the rationalist institutionalism approach, which focuses on the use of conditionality in the EU accession process. The empirical part of the paper is based upon 30 semi-structured questionnaire responses from and interviews with government officials, NGO representatives, and experts from international organizations actively involved in the field. Overall the underlying incentive of EU membership was evaluated as the most powerful generator of green energy policies in SEE. While other factors seem to act in synergy with the EU’s demands, responses suggest that it is unlikely these factors would have led to the adoption of the green policies/programs outside of the EU context. However, differences among the countries examined do exist. They can be attributed to a certain extent to the countries’ differences in their progress on the path to the EU, although some level of variation, due to a number of political, economic, and social circumstances, is to be expected.
The International Renewable Energy Agency: A Global Voice for the Renewable Energy Era?
Glen Wright
The International Renewable Energy Agency held the first session of its Assembly as a fully-fledged international organisation in April 2011. This article aims to introduce the Agency and provide a basis for ongoing academic comment, discussion and analysis as the Agency establishes itself and progresses its substantive work. The paper will briefly outline the origins of the Agency, its institutional arrangements and key elements of its Statute, and consider the first budget and work programme. The paper will note some points of interest that warrant further discussion before outlining the Agency’s activities to date and assessing the potential contribution the Agency can make to the development of renewables.
The Barriers to the Successful Development of Commercial Grid Connected Renewable Electricity Projects in Australia, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
Dermot Duncan, Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool
What are the barriers to the development of commercial grid connected renewable electricity projects? This article examines the technical, economic, political and social barriers to such renewable energy projects with a specific focus on Australia, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. With the advancement of renewable energy becoming increasingly linked to climate law and policy developments; the article explores the institutional challenges, economic barriers, regulatory hurdles, and social attitudes impacting, and often slowing, the diffusion of cleaner sources of electricity supply. The article also provides an overview of the core drivers and barriers in the above jurisdictions.


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