Article

Sociopolitical embedding of onshore wind power in the Netherlands and North Rhine–Westphalia

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  • DuneWorks, Netherlands
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Abstract

This paper compares the historical socio-political innovation journeys of onshore wind power in North Rhine–Westphalia and the Netherlands, concentrating on the implementation (realisation) of wind energy projects and the market of project development. Attention is drawn to the level of implementation (where struggles between multiple interests and meanings become manifest) and to the ability of entrepreneurs to succesfully plan and develop projects. A historical new-institutionalist approach is adopted, in which actors, networks and their institutional environment are understood as mutually constitutive. We investigate how socio-political embedding has come about – the process through, which a new technology becomes embedded in existing and changing rules and routines of society. A conclusion is that socio-political embedding is crucial to the implementation achievements and market developments. The legitimacy of wind projects is not self-evident. Addressing socio-political embedding contributes to a better understanding of the development of this legitimacy. Not only researchers but also policy makers should address legitimacy as a central issue, not just an afterthought to the development and diffusion of new technologies. A policy and planning strategy that involves the institutionalisation of early participation of relevant stakeholders can enhance the legitimacy of both the process and outcome and contribute to social-political innovation needed to accomplish sustainable innovation journeys.

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... In Germany the feed-in support system -REFIThas positively affected the involvement of the civil society and local initiatives to wind farms and correspondingly. The implemented planning system did not endorse the selection of sites by higher authorities, instead it only set a priority for wind developments ('Priviligierung') and then left the actual planning of the local wind development and site selection to local authorities (82). ...
... They have participated in cooperatives or other civil initiatives -'Bürgerinitiative' in German-to establish wind farms and thus became shareholders. There is a wide range of motives for such initiatives, but a strong driving force behind this development were various grassroots initiatives (Figure 3) based on environmental concern and the willingness to be involved in the development of alternatives to conventional and nuclear power generation (82,114). In the meantime, such civil initiatives have evolved into new energy companies with an inherent high degree of acceptance of renewables energy. ...
... The role, position and objectives of existing energy companies are a strong manifestation of market acceptance. In the Netherlands, the energy companies held a gatekeeper role and decided about the remuneration and grid access for more than a decade, whereas the German government forced power companies to accept competition from third parties (82). The latter factor is an essential feature of the success of the German 'feed-in' legislation and the Renewable Energies Act which effectively stimulated third parties to invest in wind turbines (115). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is the lemma in the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, volume 17. Ed. Robert A Meyers. Springer Reference, 2012. This lemma gives the most comprehensive overview of social acceptance of wind power so far. It deals with all subjects significant in social acceptance, listed below, including definitions. It provides more than 200 references and some further readings. The willingness to accept phenomena related to innovation of different parts of society, including all realms beyond “the public,” can be subdivided in two broad categories: – Acceptance of the creation of new socioeconomic conditions needed for implementation. – Acceptance of the consequences of the implementation: implementation will affect current practices in society and forcing some to change. Four Starting Points: It is not about acceptance of technical systems, but about socio-technical systems; hence institutional factors (structural components of social organization around renewable energy) are key elements. – All aspects of a new STS featuring a substantial amount of wind power are subject to social acceptance. – An actor may accept certain aspects, while simultaneously rejecting other aspects, as a result of social, economic, and/or political learning processes. Existing institutions (existing patterns of behavior as determined by existing societal rules) often impede the development and implementation of new views, approaches, techniques, and practices required for the implementation of wind power. Some lingering common sense ideas must be abandoned: The objection to any wind power development must be considered as a potentially legitimate, rational, and informed position: All positive, active support as well as passive supporting attitudes, are equally important for obtaining a good understanding of the acceptance of wind power. Social acceptance of wind power – as other renewables’innovations – contains three main dimesions: Socio-political acceptance, market acceptance, and community acceptance. Public acceptance should not be misinterpreted as a proxy for social acceptance, as it only covers a small part of all three, and it does often not run parallel with social acceptance. As the first component in the social dimension of the socio-technical system, all relevant social actors involved in the process of acceptance must be considered. Again, this goes far beyond ‘public’ acceptance. The attributes of acceptance are outlines, emphasizing the large differences between accepptance of general implementation of a technique, such as wind power, from acceptance of concrete projects. In fact these two are only weekly related, as their attributed are very different. Special attention is given to the overly simplistic, and very destructive common sense idea that the ‘gap’ between these two ― in fact the term ‘gap’ is very questionable itself — implies the existence of nimby-attitudes. Socio-political Acceptance: The shape and the reliability of the financial procurement system, which is of overwhelming importance for the utilization of 1. the potentially significant willingness to invest in wind developments; 2. The type and amount of effective support generated within the national and regional planning system for policies that develop wind power capacity; 3. The degree to which collaborative decision making on the level of communities is allowed and stimulated by the sociopolitical framework. Community Acceptance: Historically, the focus within this issue of social acceptance of renewable energy innovation has been on public acceptance as the cornerstone of community acceptance. Community acceptance refers to the specific acceptance of siting decisions and renewable energy projects by local stakeholders, particularly residents and local authorities. Market Acceptance: Social acceptance can also be interpreted as market acceptance or as the process of market adoption of an innovative STS. Three categories of impact can be distinguished that are discussed in almost any case: landscape, wildlife, and annoyance issues. The issue of social acceptance of wind power will come to the fore even more prominent in the coming decades, but the character of acceptance issues in the three dimensions will probably change. The current awareness of the required space for sustainable energy supply is still limited and, hence, the consequences in terms of landscape occupation and potential environmental conflicts are neither fully recognized. The main question of social acceptance will remain how to build socio-political and market acceptance for the collaborative way of planning and decision making that is needed. This key to the large number of positive investment and space-making decisions will even become more important because wind power is becoming increasingly part of an all-embracing STS of integrated sustainable energy supply. The new power supply system will have to integrate growing numbers of distributed generation units. The integration of all the components of sustainable power generation, including the mutual fine-tuning and optimization of local supply and demand and possibly with the introduction of local storage capacity must be embedded an intelligent “smart grid”, with many acceptance issues itself — as it runs fully counter to our existing centralized and hierarchically organized power supply system. The social acceptance of wind power will become embedded in the acceptance of all kinds of decisions about this future STS of sustainable energy supply and demand.
... The perception of the impact of a wind turbine is heavily influenced by psycho-social factors such as place attachment , 2009; by distributive and procedural (in) justice (Gross, 2007); by trust (Walker et al., 2010), and by social cohesion (Devine-Wright and Howes, 2010). Other articles have focused on the meso-level and point to more institutional factors, such as citizen involvement, the planning regime and ownership relations, in explaining negative perceptions and protest against the siting of wind turbines (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008;Agterbosch et al., 2007;Toke et al., 2008). Agterbosch and Breukers (2008) argued that wind turbines are the source of multiple conflicts over interests and meanings. ...
... Other articles have focused on the meso-level and point to more institutional factors, such as citizen involvement, the planning regime and ownership relations, in explaining negative perceptions and protest against the siting of wind turbines (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008;Agterbosch et al., 2007;Toke et al., 2008). Agterbosch and Breukers (2008) argued that wind turbines are the source of multiple conflicts over interests and meanings. The implementation of wind power eventually depends on the outcomes of these struggles. ...
... The decision-making process was not open to alternatives and mitigation measures, which are crucial aspects of an independent environmental impact assessment. The importance of procedural and distributive justice during the siting of wind farms has been addressed in numerous studies (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008;Barry and Ellis, 2011;Breukers and Wolsink, 2007;Cowell et al., 2011;Devine-Wright, 2011;Gross, 2007;Loring, 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we analyse how protests against wind farms reflect symbolic distances or alienations, typical to Flanders (Belgium), as consequences of wider societal trends. A thorough qualitative study of three wind farm projects in Flanders, including group discussions and interviews with crucial stakeholders, shows that the current siting process reinforces disagreements and leads to a stalemate between different framings of the wind farms. Using insights from our case studies and the literature, we argue for spatial planning which strives for a negotiation over acceptable solutions rather than acceptance of fixed proposals.
... In Germany, the feed-in support system -REFIT -has positively affected the involvement of the civil society and local initiatives to wind farms and correspondingly. The implemented planning system did not endorse the selection of sites by higher authorities; instead it only set a priority for wind developments ("Priviligierung") and then left the actual planning of the local wind development and site selection to local governance [88]. ...
... They have participated in cooperatives or other civil initiatives -"Bürgerinitiative" in German -to establish wind farms and thus became shareholders. There is a wide range of motives for such initiatives, but a strong driving force behind this development were various grassroots initiatives (Fig. 3) based on environmental concern and the willingness to be involved in the development of alternatives to conventional and nuclear power generation [88,119]. In the meantime, such civil initiatives have evolved into new energy companies with an inherent high degree of acceptance of renewables energy. ...
... The role, position, and objectives of existing energy companies are a strong manifestation of market acceptance. In the Netherlands, the energy companies held a gatekeeper role and decided about the remuneration and grid access for more than a decade, whereas the German government forced power companies to accept competition from third parties [88]. The latter factor is an essential feature of the success of the German "feed-in" legislation and the Renewable Energies Act which effectively stimulated third parties to invest in wind turbines [119]. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
“Basic challenge to concerning social acceptance” is a chapter in the edited volume "Renewable energy Systems”, L.Y. Kaltschmitt, M., N.J. Themelis, L.Y. Bronicki, L. Söder & L.A. Vega (Eds.), Springer, NewYork. The chapter gives the most comprehensive overview of social acceptance, so emphatically more than the confusing and limited idea of public acceptance of wind power. Social acceptance is a bundle of processes of developing positive or negative decisions on wind power implmentation. It deals with all subjects significant in social acceptance, listed below, including definitions. It provides more than 200 references and some further readings. Glossary: definitions of all distinguished concepts in social acceptance. Definition of the Subject: The willingness to accept phenomena related to innovation of different parts of society, including all realms beyond “the public,” can be subdivided in two broad categories: – Acceptance of the creation of new socioeconomic conditions needed for implementation. – Acceptance of the consequences of the implementation: implementation will affect current practices in society and forcing some to change. Introduction: Four Starting Points: It is not about acceptance of technical systems, but about socio-technical systems; hence institutional factors (structural components of social organization around renewable energy) are key elements. – All aspects of a new STS featuring a substantial amount of wind power are subject to social acceptance. – An actor may accept certain aspects, while simultaneously rejecting other aspects, as a result of social, economic, and/or political learning processes. Existing institutions (existing patterns of behavior as determined by existing societal rules) often impede the development and implementation of new views, approaches, techniques, and practices required for the implementation of wind power. Some lingering common sense ideas must be abandoned: The objection to any wind power development must be considered as a potentially legitimate, rational, and informed position: All positive, active support as well as passive supporting attitudes, are equally important for obtaining a good understanding of the acceptance of wind power. Dimensions of Social Acceptance of Energy Innovation Social acceptance of wind power – as other renewables’innovations – contains three main dimesions: Socio-political acceptance, market acceptance, and community acceptance. Public acceptance should not be misinterpreted as a proxy for social acceptance, as it only covers a small part of all three, and it does often not run parallel with social acceptance. Actors: As the first component in the social dimension of the socio-technical system, all relevant social actors involved in the process of acceptance must be considered. Again, this goes far beyond ‘public’ acceptance. Subjects of Acceptance: the attributes of acceptance are outlines, emphasizing the large differences between accepptance of general implementation of a technique, such as wind power, from acceptance of concrete projects. In fact these two are only weekly related, as their attributed are very different. Special attrnetion id given to the overly simplistic, and very destructive common sense idea that the ‘gap’ between these two ― in fact the term ‘gap’ is very questionable itself — inmplies the existence of nimby-attitudes. Sociopolitical Acceptance: The shape and the reliability of the financial procurement system, which is of overwhelming importance for the utilization of the potentially significant willingness to invest in wind developments; 2. The type and amount of effective support generated within the national and regional planning system for policies that develop wind power capacity; 3. The degree to which collaborative decision making on the level of communities is allowed and stimulated by the sociopolitical framework. Community Acceptance: Historically, the focus within this issue of social acceptance of renewable energy innovation has been on public acceptance as the cornerstone of community acceptance. Community acceptance refers to the specific acceptance of siting decisions and renewable energy projects by local stakeholders, particularly residents and local authorities. Market Acceptance: Social acceptance can also be interpreted as market acceptance or as the process of market adoption of an innovative STS. Significant Attributes Connected to Identity: Three categories of impact can be distinguished that are discussed in almost any case: landscape, wildlife, and annoyance issues. Future Directions: The issue of social acceptance of wind power will come to the fore even more prominent in the coming decades, but the character of acceptance issues in the three dimensions will probably change. The current awareness of the required space for sustainable energy supply is still limited and, hence, the consequences in terms of landscape occupation and potential environmental conflicts are neither fully recognized. The main question of social acceptance will remain how to build sociopolitical and market acceptance for the collaborative way of planning and decision making that is needed. This key to the large number of positive investment and space-making decisions will even become more important because wind power is becoming increasingly part of an all-embracing STS of integrated sustainable energy supply. The new power supply system will have to integrate growing numbers of distributed generation units. The integration of all the components of sustainable power generation, including the mutual fine-tuning and optimization of local supply and demand and possibly with the introduction of local storage capacity must be embedded an intelligent “smart grid”, with many acceptance issues itself — as it runs fully counter to our existing centralized and hierarchically organized power supply system. The social acceptance of wind power will become embedded in the acceptance of all kinds of decisions about this future STS of sustainable energy supply and demand.
... Authors in this stream of literature seem to converge on the opinion that more participative and reflexive approaches to governance are more effective and can help to embed the goals of sustainable innovation in the rules and routines of politics, policy and society (e.g. Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). In this respect, three recurring themes have been identified in the selected sample, specifically collaboration via the 'Triple Helix' (e.g. ...
... For this purpose, a clear direction regarding objectives, goals, actions and principles is needed (Ely et al., 2013;Leach et al., 2012;Partidário et al., 2007). Ensuring consistency between the strategies and actions adopted at national and local, regional and supra-national levels (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008) can also facilitate trust-building and reduce uncertainty. -Bridging local know-how and expertise with global scientific knowledge is another important theme. ...
... Holistic approach (broad definition) (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008;Barrie et al., 2017;Edelstein, 2004;Elsner, 2004;Kuzemko et al., 2016;Longhurst, 2015;Meelen and Farla, 2013;Nill and Kemp, 2009;Pellizzone et al., 2017;Smith et al., 2014). Total = 10 articles (Arnold, 2017;Ayuso et al., 2006Ayuso et al., , 2011Berkowitz, 2018;Dewberry and Sherwin, 2002;Dossa and Kaeufer, 2014;Flores et al., 2009;Gasbarro et al., 2018;Kennedy et al., 2017;Klewitz, 2017;Leising et al., 2018;Matos and Hall, 2007;Przychodzen et al., 2016;Rossignoli and Lionzo, 2018;Szekely and Strebel, 2013;Wagner, 2011). ...
Article
Fostering innovation to achieve the goals of sustainable development agenda has been the aim of a growing number of governance strategies implemented by both public and private sector actors. Traditionally, the question of who is best fit to govern has been addressed through the hierarchy-market-network trichotomy, however, such an approach might be simplifying the ways actors interact in the process of governing sustainable innovation. This article aims to move beyond this debate by systematically reviewing the scientific literature on governance strategies fostering sustainable innovation and focusing on three key dimensions: the primary actor (the ‘who’), their approach to governance (the ‘how’) and conceptualisations of sustainable innovation (the ‘what’). Based on this ‘who-how-what’ framework, our analysis shows the shift towards more collaborative governance strategies and highlights the need to focus on the ‘how’ rather than debating over the ‘who’. Finally, we propose promising fields for future research.
... We examine this institutional setting through a geographical comparison of onshore wind power developments in the Netherlands, North-Rhine Westphalia and England. The institutional conditions and changes in the domains of energy policy, spatial planning and environmental policy are compared, including how these influenced the implementation of wind power in each case ( Breukers and Wolsink, 2003;Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). A crucial dimension of the institutional context is how key actors with different interests (including those who reject or only conditionally support wind power) perceive the realization of wind power projects. ...
... The following set of factors is relevant for the comparison of the three international cases: A: Arrangements within the policy domains of energy and environment-differences in institutional arrangements and in the structures of the policy sectors affect the opportunities for the implementation of sustainable energy ( Szarka 2006;Breukers, 2007). B: The role, position and objectives of existing energy companies-in the case of the Netherlands, these held a gatekeeper role for more than a decade ( Wolsink 1996), whereas the German government forced them to accept competition from third parties ( Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). The latter factor is an essential feature of the success of the German "electricity feed-in" legislation ("Stromeinspeisungsgesetz") and the Renewable Energies Act ("Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz") which effectively stimulated third parties to invest in wind turbines ( Wüstenhagen and Bilharz, 2006). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
How have institutional conditions affected policy and planning processes for wind energy implementation? This is the research question of multiple-cases study (England, North Rhine Westphalia, Netherlands) focusing upon Institutional Capacity building as a key to (strong) ecological modernization. Among those conditions are prevailing routines and patterns of thought, which are analysed in this paper. The actors' framings of policy, market, local, civil society, were mapped using Q methodology, a technique that has a growing range of application in fields (e.g. psychology, medicine, political science, geography) were the systematic influence of value patterns on perspectives and assessments are significant and a research topic as such. Core beliefs on wind power implementation are distinguished, regarding policy, planning, market development, environmental issues, assumed 'backyard' attitudes, ownership, etc. These beliefs are associated with the large differences in institutional capacity in the three geographical cases.
... In the Netherlands, none of the perspectives was dominant, reflecting a lack of learning and inconsistent policy, as will be illustrated by the conclusions of the example project case. In Germany, hardly any opposition to wind projects existed because a framework was created favoured civil and local shareholding, while at the same time also promoting their increased involvement (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). Citizens' projects and other private developments were strongly stimulated by the opportunities to feed wind-generated electricity into the grid at a reasonable price. ...
... The creation of this kind of framework requires clear socio-political acceptance among government agencies and actors in the energy markets and spatial planning realm, of necessary policy measures. The wind power policy in the Netherlands has been very inconsistent over more than two decades (Breukers and Wolsink, 2007) and the socio-political acceptance of effective policy has clearly been far below the level of, for example, Germany (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
The construction of new infrastructure is hotly contested. This paper presents a comparative study on three environmental policy domains in the Netherlands that all deal with legitimising building and locating infrastructure facilities. Such infrastructure is usually declared essential to environmental policy and claimed to serve sustainability goals. They are considered to serve (proclaimed) public interests, while the adverse impact or risk that mainly concerns environmental values as well is concentrated at a smaller scale, for example in local communities. The social acceptance of environmental policy infrastructure is institutionally determined. The institutional capacity for learning in infrastructure decision-making processes in the following three domains is compared:
... We examine this institutional setting through a geographical comparison of onshore wind power developments in the Netherlands, North-Rhine Westphalia and England. The institutional conditions and changes in the domains of energy policy, spatial planning and environmental policy are compared, including how these influenced the implementation of wind power in each case (Breukers and Wolsink, 2003;Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). A crucial dimension of the institutional context is how key actors with different interests (including those who reject or only conditionally support wind power) perceive the realization of wind power projects. ...
... A: Arrangements within the policy domains of energy and environment -differences in institutional arrangements and in the structures of the policy sectors affect the opportunities for the implementation of sustainable energy (Szarka 2006;Breukers, 2007). B: The role, position and objectives of existing energy companies -in the case of the Netherlands, these held a gatekeeper role for more than a decade (Wolsink 1996), whereas the German government forced them to accept competition from third parties (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). The latter factor is an essential feature of the success of the German "electricity feed-in" legislation ("Stromeinspeisungsgesetz") and the Renewable Energies Act ("Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz") which effectively stimulated third parties to invest in wind turbines (Wüstenhagen and Bilharz, 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses patterns in beliefs about the implementation of wind power as part of a geographical comparison of onshore wind power developments in the Netherlands, North-Rhine Westphalia and England. Q methodology is applied, in order to systematically compare the patterns in stakeholder views on the institutional conditions and changes in the domains of energy policy, spatial planning and environmental policy. Three factors represent support for wind power implementation from fundamentally different perspectives. The fourth perspective is critical opposed to wind power developments as well as critical to the manner in which wind projects are proposed, planned and implemented. These four perspectives exist across the geographical cases; however, some perspectives are prominent in one case and marginal in another. This relates to different legacies and varying implementation achievements in the three cases. The analysis shows that an approach that focuses on implementing as much wind power as possible, relying on technocratic reasoning and hierarchical policies is in practice the least successful, whereas collaborative perspectives with more emphasis on local issues and less on the interests of the conventional energy sector were particularly dominant in the most successful case, North-Rhine Westphalia.
... The scope of public participation approaches in the United States is, in general, remarkably broader than in the German EIA/ SEA processes and, in general, involvement starts significantly earlier in the process. The tradition of public participation in German planning and project permitting does not go far beyond formal consultation on ready-made plans, which was stated by Agterbosch and Breukers (2008) for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia [59]. With proposed legislation introducing rules that agencies shall promote the use of early public participation even before the formal permitting process starts, the German legislator in early 2012 tried to react to accelerating criticism of the current practice of public involvement (draft Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung und Vereinheitlichung von Planfeststellungsverfahren of February 2012). ...
... The scope of public participation approaches in the United States is, in general, remarkably broader than in the German EIA/ SEA processes and, in general, involvement starts significantly earlier in the process. The tradition of public participation in German planning and project permitting does not go far beyond formal consultation on ready-made plans, which was stated by Agterbosch and Breukers (2008) for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia [59]. With proposed legislation introducing rules that agencies shall promote the use of early public participation even before the formal permitting process starts, the German legislator in early 2012 tried to react to accelerating criticism of the current practice of public involvement (draft Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung und Vereinheitlichung von Planfeststellungsverfahren of February 2012). ...
Article
Wind energy development is booming worldwide with Germany and the United States being forerunners in installed capacity. Based on a review of relevant laws and regulations, policy, siting, and permitting documents, academic literature, and expert interviews, the paper compares the permit and environmental impact assessment (IA) policies and regulations pertaining to wind energy projects in both countries. The focus is on the potential of IAs in supporting an environmentally conscious development of wind power generation. This includes the analysis of IA regulations on the project level, strategic level impact assessment and planning processes, opportunities for public involvement and transparency of processes, and the clarity and predictability of the IA provisions. The findings suggest certain variations between both countries' permit and IA processes for wind energy projects and further research needs, inter alia on the actual effects of strategic assessment of wind development on subsequent permitting.
... In particular, researchers have promoted local stakeholder inclusion during the siting of wind farms, largely as a means of bridging the divide between national environmental objectives and local concerns (Blá zquez García et al., 2003;Khan, 2004;Jobert et al., 2007;Söderholm et al., 2007;Wolsink, 2007;Wüstenhagen et al., 2007;Agterbosch et al., 2009). Some have suggested that it would be appropriate to institutionalize participation in energy development policy frameworks in order to enhance the likelihood of acceptance at the local level (Breukers and Wolsink, 2007;Wüstenhagen et al., 2007;Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008;Agterbosch et al., 2009). ...
Article
The need for governments to reduce the exposure of energy consumers to future increases in fossil fuel prices places urgent pressure on policy-makers to deliver fundamental transformations in energy strategies, particularly in jurisdictions with high dependency on fossil fuel sources (Dorian et al., 2006). This transformation is unlikely without a high level of stakeholder engagement in the policy development process. This paper describes two policy development processes recently undertaken in Nova Scotia in which the inclusion of stakeholder views was central to the approach. The first delivered a new institutional framework for electricity energy efficiency involving the inception of an independent performance-based administrator. The second required the delivery of a strategy to significantly increase renewable energy generation in the Province. It involved recommendations for changes in institutional arrangements, financial incentives and technological options. This process was followed by new commitments to renewable energy developments, new infrastructure for the importation of hydro-electricity, and the announcement of FITs for ocean energy. In both cases, recommendations were made by an independent academic institution, and the Government responded directly to a majority of recommendations. The paper concludes with a discussion of lessons learned and the implications for future energy policy making in carbon-intensive jurisdictions.
... In addition, more inclusive participation is better able to deliver equity in decision making (see, for example, Kakonge, 1996;O'Faircheallaigh, 2010;Petts, 2003;Shepherd and Bowler, 1997;Sinclair and Fitzpatrick, 2002;Wiklund, 2011). It is widely recognised that the timing of the participation is crucial in order to facilitate deliberation, with early participation, as encompassed in the Arhus Convention (UNECE, 1998) being an essential precondition of a legitimate process (Agterbosch and Breukers, 2008). ...
Article
Game theory provides a useful theoretical framework to examine the decision process operating in the context of environmental assessment, and to examine the rationality and legitimacy of decision-making subject to Environmental Assessment (EA). The research uses a case study of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal processes undertaken in England. To these are applied an analytical framework, based on the concept of decision windows to identify the decisions to be assessed. The conditions for legitimacy are defined, based on game theory, in relation to the timing of decision information, the behaviour type (competitive, reciprocal, equity) exhibited by the decision maker, and the level of public engagement; as, together, these control the type of rationality which can be brought to bear on the decision. Instrumental rationality is based on self-interest of individuals, whereas deliberative rationality seeks broader consensus and is more likely to underpin legitimate decisions. The results indicate that the Sustainability Appraisal process, conducted at plan level, is better than EIA, conducted at project level, but still fails to provide conditions that facilitate legitimacy. Game theory also suggests that Sustainability Appraisal is likely to deliver ‘least worst’ outcomes rather than best outcomes when the goals of the assessment process are considered; this may explain the propensity of such ‘least worst’ decisions in practise. On the basis of what can be learned from applying this game theory perspective, it is suggested that environmental assessment processes need to be redesigned and better integrated into decision making in order to guarantee the legitimacy of the decisions made.
... Therefore, policy makers often rely on incumbents to foster new technologies. Agterbosch and Breukers (2008), for instance, show that Dutch policy makers relied on incumbents (e.g. large utilities) to drive wind power until the end of the 1990s. ...
... For that dimension, a participatory stakeholder dialogue can be useful, as it reveals and confronts different underlying stakeholder perspectives. Successful innovation requires a certain level of commitment, support or at least acceptance by relevant societal stakeholders [17], which depends on the extent to which stakeholders manage to align their diverging expectations, needs and interests . Participatory stakeholder dialogue method can support such processes of alignment and in doing so, future options and solutions can be explored. ...
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This paper explores the potential of combining technological innovation systems research with a participatory stakeholder dialogue, using empirical material from a dialogue on the options of sustainable biomass in the Netherlands and several historical studies into the emerging Dutch biomass innovation system. These studies identified and analysed functions (key processes) needed for the diffusion of this system. Using the functions as a heuristic to analyse and present this material, this paper shows that combining both approaches results in a richer understanding of the Dutch biomass innovation system. Where innovation systems research has not inquired in-depth into the normative dimensions of biomass innovation, the dialogue contributes to a better understanding of these. In contrast to systems research where the researcher defines system boundaries, the dialogue allowed system boundaries to be defined along the process in a bottom-up manner. This resulted in different ideas about challenges and opportunities. Where dialogue discussions were based on somewhat anecdotal information, biomass innovation systems research provided a historical and systemic contextualisation. Furthermore, the functions served as useful categories to explore future sustainable biomass options. We conclude that triangulation, using both historic and participatory methods, provides more insight, in terms of both range and depth, in the actual functioning of innovation systems and opportunities for improvement.
... As in Denmark, new entrants, including farmers and small, community-owned projects, were actively encouraged. In NRW, policy tools included granting access to the electricity grid for smaller scale generators and providing revenue streams in the form of preferential 'feed-in' tariffs, or stromeinspeisungsgesetz (Agterbosch andBreukers 2008: 639, Klaassen et al. 2005: 229-230). By contrast, in the Netherlands, wind energy policy tended to favour large incumbent energy companies over independent entrepreneurs. ...
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This dissertation focuses on wind energy for electricity generation, analysing the evolution of the wind power supply market in the Netherlands. We analysed different kind of wind power entrepreneurs (energy distributors, small private investors, wind cooperatives and new independent wind power producers), their capacity to implement wind energy and the social and institutional conditions that affected their investments over the period 1989-2004. Central in the analyses are the institutional regulatory dimension and the social context as explanatory variables for the emergence and performance of these wind power entrepreneurs. Special attention is given to the liberalisation of the electricity market. The primary social actors for the implementation of wind energy projects in a liberalised market are entrepreneurs willing to invest. Understanding conditions that trigger entrepreneurs to invest in these projects, and understanding conditions that determine the chance of success for entrepreneurs to implement and exploit their projects, is vital for setting up effective policies to stimulate wind electricity generation. The analytical perspective that we used to study investment behaviour of wind power entrepreneurs and their capacity to implement wind energy can be referred to as the ‘new institutional perspective’. Based on this new institutional perspective the concept of implementation capacity has been developed. Implementation capacity indicates the feasibility for wind power entrepreneurs to adopt wind turbines, and enables to explain, comparatively, changing possibilities in time for different types of entrepreneurs. The development of the wind power supply market is divided into three successive market periods: Monopoly powers (1989-1995), Interbellum (1996-1997) and Free market (1998-2002). We conducted case studies on the implementation capacity of the four entrepreneurial groups in each of the three market periods. The case studies led to conclusions about the way in which social and institutional conditions affected the implementation capacity of different types of entrepreneurs in each of these periods. From the analysis it was concluded that no overall implementation capacity exists, and implementation capacities differ for entrepreneurial groups with different entrepreneurial features. The dynamic configuration of institutional and social conditions on different levels of government facilitates some and hinders other types of wind power entrepreneurs, and as a result determines the development and composition of the market. Various parties are dependent on each other in the production of wind energy. At the start of the 1990s the energy distribution companies dominated the market. Later agrarians led the pack and new independent wind power project developers emerged on the scene. According to Agterbosch, in the 1990s government policy focused far too long on large-scale applications by energy companies and ignored the limited motivation of this business group to invest in decentralised and fluctuating assets. The national wind policy also failed to take into account the societal and procedural problems of this business group at the subnational level. The fact that other entrepreneurial groups such as agrarians encountered far fewer problems in realising their projects, did not receive attention at a national level.
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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1994 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association and at a Conference on ‘What is Institutionalism Now?’ at the University of Maryland, October 1994. We would like to acknowledge the hospitality and stimulation that W. Richard Scott, the Stanford Center for Organizations Research, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences provided while the preliminary work for this paper was being done, and we are grateful to Paul Pierson for many helpful discussions about these issues. For written comments on this earlier draft, we are grateful to Robert Bates, Paul DiMaggio, Frank Dobbin, James Ennis, Barbara Geddes, Peter Gourevitch, Ian Lustick, Cathie Jo Martin, Lisa Martin, Paul Pierson, Mark Pollack, Bo Rothstein, Kenneth Shepsle, Rogers Smith, Marc Smyrl, Barry Weingast, and Deborah Yashar.
Wind power in view The new institutionalism in organizational analysis Institutions in comparative policy research
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Wind power deployment outcomes: how can we account for the differences? Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 12: doi:10.1016/j.rser.2006.10.021. Van Est, Q.C. 1999. Winds of change: a comparative study of the politics of wind energy innovation in California and Denmark
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