nep-ene New Economics Papers
on Energy Economics
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
29 papers chosen by
Roger Fouquet
London School of Economics

  1. Default Effects and Follow-On Behavior: Evidence from an Electricity Pricing Program By Meredith Fowlie; Catherine Wolfram; C. Anna Spurlock; Annika Todd; Patrick Baylis; Peter Cappers
  2. The environmental tax and subsidy reform in Mexico By Johanna Arlinghaus; Kurt van Dender
  3. Policy options for a socially balanced climate policy By Schwerhoff, Gregor; Dao, Nguyen Thang; Edenhofer, Ottmar; Grimalda, Gianluca; Jakob, Michael; Klenert, David; Siegmeier, Jan
  4. Incentives to innovate under emission taxes and tradeable permits By Requate, Till
  5. Leaving an emissions trading scheme – insights from the United Kingdom By Richard S.J. Tol
  6. Sulphur Abatement Globally in Maritime Shipping By Lindstad, Elizabeth; Rehn, Carl Fredrik; Eskeland, Gunnar S.
  7. Indirect land use change (iLUC) revisited: An evaluation of current policy proposals By Delzeit, Ruth; Klepper, Gernot; Söder, Mareike
  8. Energy Conservation, Fossil Fuel Consumption, CO2 Emission and Economic Growth in Indonesia By Erdyas Bimanatya, Traheka; Widodo, Tri
  9. Strategic Entry and Potential Competition: Evidence from Compressed Gas Fuel Retail By Pavan, Giulia; Pozzi, Andrea; Rovigatti, Gabriele
  10. Comparative Advantage of Energy Products in the Midst of ASEAN Economic Integration By Widodo, Tri
  11. Strategic Entry and Potential Competition - Evidence from Compressed Gas Fuel Retail By Giulia Pavan; Andrea Pozzi; Gabriele Rovigatti
  12. Der Energiesoli: Alternative Finanzierungsmodelle für die Energiewende By Schaefer, Thilo
  13. Adding More Juice: How Private Investors can Improve the Performance of Provincial Power Assets By Steven Robins
  14. Thoughts on the Economics of Secondary Benefits between Climate Change Mitigation and Air Pollution Regulation By Kristie Ebi; Michael Keller; Richard S.J. Tol; Gary Yohe
  15. Spatial Analysis of Emissions in Sweden By George Marbuah; Franklin Amuakwa-Mensah
  16. International business cycles: quantifying the effects of a world market for oil By Gars, Johan; Olovsson, Conny
  17. Has Crude Oil Become a Financial Asset? Evidence from Ten Years of Financialization By Adams, Zeno; Kartsakli, Maria
  18. Resource Extraction and Uncertain Tipping Points By Vislie, Jon
  19. Electricity supply reliability and households decision to connect to the grid By Arnaud Millien
  20. Conservation of energy in nonatomic games By Ortmann, Michael
  21. On the current account - biofuels link in emerging and developing countries: do oil price fluctuations matter? By Gabriel Gomes; Emmanuel Hache; Valérie Mignon; Anthony Paris
  22. Permits or taxes? How to regulate Cournot Duopoly with polluting firms By Requate, Till
  23. Can tenants afford to care? Investigating the willingness-to-pay for improved energy efficiency of rental tenants and returns to investment for landlords By Collins, Matthew; Curtis, John
  24. Industry Evolution in Varieties of Capitalism: a Comparison of the Danish and US Wind Turbine Industries By Max-Peter Menzel; Johannes Kammer
  25. More oil, less quality of education? New empirical evidence By Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza; Thum, Marcel
  26. The "Construction" of Chinese culture in a globalized world and its importance for Beijing's smart power: Notes and concepts on a narrative shift By Cappelletti, Alessandra
  27. The politics of horizontal inequality: Indigenous opposition to wind farm development in Mexico By Courtney Jung
  28. Coalitional cohesion in technology policy: The case of the early solar cell industry in the United States By Ergen, Timur
  29. Who pays for renewables? Increasing renewable subsidisation due to increased datacentre demand in Ireland By Lynch, Muireann Á.; Devine, Mel

  1. By: Meredith Fowlie; Catherine Wolfram; C. Anna Spurlock; Annika Todd; Patrick Baylis; Peter Cappers
    Abstract: We study default effects in the context of a residential electricity pricing program. We implement a large-scale randomized controlled trial in which one treatment group is given the option to opt-in to time-based pricing while another is defaulted into the program but allowed to opt-out. We provide dramatic evidence of a default effect – a significantly higher fraction of households defaulted onto the time-based pricing plan enroll in the program, even though opting out simply involved making a phone call or clicking through to a website. A distinguishing feature of our empirical setting is that we observe follow-on behavior subsequent to the default manipulation. Specifically, we observe customers’ electricity consumption in light of the pricing plan they face. This, in conjunction with randomization of the default provision, allows us to separately identify the electricity consumption response of “complacent” households (i.e., those who only enroll in time-based pricing if assigned to the opt-out treatment). We find that the complacent households do reduce electricity use during higher priced peak periods, though significantly less on average compared to customers who actively opt in. However, with complacents comprising approximately 75 percent of the population, we observe significantly larger average demand reductions among consumers assigned to the opt-out group. We examine the extent to which the behavioral responses we observe are consistent with a standard model of switching costs, or with alternative mechanisms including inattention, and preferences constructed based on contextual features of the choice setting.
    JEL: D03 L51 L94 Q41
    Date: 2017–06
  2. By: Johanna Arlinghaus (OECD); Kurt van Dender (OECD)
    Abstract: In a bold policy effort, Mexico recently moved away from subsidies to transport fuels, increased tax rates on these fuels and introduced a carbon tax. This paper analyses these reforms using a broad set of criteria that consider the main practical dimensions of environmental policy design: environmental effectiveness, equity and distributional impacts, broader tax system impacts, macroeconomic effects, compliance and administration, policy process and consistency. The reforms significantly improve the extent to which the external costs of energy use are reflected in prices and increase government revenues, but, as price deregulation progresses further, more attention may need to be devoted to analysing and addressing the policies’ distributive effects. The analysis also highlights that ease of administration and collection are an important and desirable property of carbon taxes, especially in emerging market contexts.
    Keywords: carbon pricing, distributional effects, energy taxation, fossil-fuel subsidies, tax reform
    JEL: H23 Q48 Q52
    Date: 2017–07–05
  3. By: Schwerhoff, Gregor; Dao, Nguyen Thang; Edenhofer, Ottmar; Grimalda, Gianluca; Jakob, Michael; Klenert, David; Siegmeier, Jan
    Abstract: Climate policies, including removing fossil fuel subsidies or imposing carbon prices, can be designed in a way that is both efficient in addressing climate change and results in a fair distribution of the associated costs.
    Keywords: G20,climate policy,distribution
    JEL: D62 E62 H21 H22
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Requate, Till (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–04–04
  5. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam; CESifo, Munich)
    Abstract: The United Kingdom may opt to leave the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for greenhouse gases. If so, a central plank of UK climate policy will need to be replaced at short notice. The UK is a large importer of emission permits, and meeting its climate policy targets would be much harder and dearer without the EU ETS. The impact on the EU would be limited, although UK permits circulating in the rest of the EU would lose their legal standing between Brexit and 2021. Non-EU countries take part in the EU ETS, and this appears to be the best option for the UK post-Brexit.
    Keywords: climate policy; tradable permits; Brexit; EU ETS
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Lindstad, Elizabeth (Sintef Ocean AS (MARINTEK)); Rehn, Carl Fredrik (Dept. of Marine Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Eskeland, Gunnar S. (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: In 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) decided on global regulations to reduce sulphur emissions to air from maritime shipping starting 2020. The regulation implies that ships can continue to use residual fuels with a high sulphur content, such as heavy fuel oil (HFO), if they employ scrubbers to desulphurise the exhaust gases. Alternatively, they can use fuels with less than 0.5% sulphur, such as desulphurised HFO, distillates (diesel) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). The options of lighter fuels and desulphurisation entail costs, including higher energy consumption at refineries, and the present study identifies and compares compliance options as a function of ship type and operational patterns. The results indicate distillates as an attractive option for smaller vessels, while scrubbers will be an attractive option for larger vessels. For all vessels, apart from the largest fuel consumers, residual fuels desulphurised to less than 0.5 % sulphur are also a competing abatement option. Moreover, we analyse the interaction between global SOX reductions and CO2 (and fuel consumption), and the results indicate that the higher fuel cost for distillates will motivate shippers to lower speeds, which will offset the increased CO2 emissions at the refineries. Scrubbers, in contrast, will raise speeds and CO2 emissions.
    Keywords: Shipping and the environment; Abatement cost and options; CO2; Marine fuels; MARPOL; IMO
    JEL: L92 Q50 Q52
    Date: 2017–06–29
  7. By: Delzeit, Ruth; Klepper, Gernot; Söder, Mareike
    Abstract: The contribution of biofuels to save greenhouse gas emissions has been challenged over the last years. A still unresolved question is how to quantify emissions from indirect land use change (iLUC). In this article we discuss the implications of uncertainties on the current policy proposals in the European Union (EU). We conclude that it is inappropriate to calculate crop-specific iLUC-emissions and to include them into binding regulation. We argue that modelling results, particularly crop-specific ones, should not be used for policy decisions. Our discussion of the current EU policy proposal suggests that a combination of an increase in the minimum emissions savings threshold and limits to biofuel production are a safe way to ensure with a high degree of certainty a climate mitigation impact of biofuels.
    Keywords: biofuel policy,indirect land use change,European Union,policy proposals
    JEL: Q42 Q24 Q48 Q16
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Erdyas Bimanatya, Traheka; Widodo, Tri
    Abstract: This paper discusses the relationship between fossil fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth for the period of 1965-2012 in Indonesia by applying Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) Granger causality. This paper also estimate the effect of energy conservation policy that has already adopted the National Energy Conservation Master Plan (RIKEN 2005) by Indonesian Government to the pattern of energy consumption in Indonesia from 2014 until 2030. Empirical results show that in the short-run there are unidirectional Granger causalities running from coal consumption to economic growth (growth hypothesis) and from economic growth to oil consumption (conservation hypothesis). However, in the long run the results suggest unidirectional Granger causality only running from oil consumption to economic growth and CO2 emissions. Thus, Indonesia should adopts different policies for each type of energies in order to maintain the economic growth while the effort of reducing fossil fuel consumption is in progress. The projection results imply that Indonesia government should revise the energy efficiency targets in RIKEN 2005 since the result of LEAP Projection based on RIKEN target shows a lower energy saving rate (17.32 percent) compared to the target (18 percent).
    Keywords: Fossil Fuel Consumption; CO2 Emission; Economic Growth.
    JEL: O44 Q43 Q56
    Date: 2017–06–28
  9. By: Pavan, Giulia; Pozzi, Andrea; Rovigatti, Gabriele
    Abstract: We study the effect of competition on preemption incentives. An unexpected change in regulation in the Italian retail market for compressed natural gas fuel allows us to identify the potential entrants and creates exogenous variation in their number. We document that markets with a larger pool of potential competitors experience faster entry. We provide evidence suggesting that this occurs because a larger number of potential entrants raises firms' incentives to preempt.
    Keywords: potential entrants; preemption; retail fuel market
    JEL: L12 L22 L81
    Date: 2017–06
  10. By: Widodo, Tri
    Abstract: This research aims to analyze the ASEAN countries’ comparative advantage of energy products. Trade Balance Index (TBI) is applied. This research uses data import value and price of energy products under SITC 3 digits. This research concludes that Coal, lignite and peat (SITC 333) and gas, natural, and manufactured (SITC 341) are the upfront energy commodity line that share positive index, meanwhile briquettes; coke and semi-coke; lignite or peat; retort carbon (SITC 332) is the least competitive basket in energy market.
    Keywords: energy products, energy market integration
    JEL: F1 I3 Q4
    Date: 2016–08–17
  11. By: Giulia Pavan (Toulouse School of Economics); Andrea Pozzi (EIEF and CEPR); Gabriele Rovigatti (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business)
    Abstract: We study the effect of competition on preemption incentives. An unexpected change in regulation in the Italian retail market for compressed natural gas fuel allows us to identify the potential entrants to the market and creates exogenous variation in their number. We document that areas with a larger pool of potential competitors experience faster entry. We provide evidence suggesting that this occurs because facing a higher number of potential entrants raises firms' incentives to preempt.
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Schaefer, Thilo
    Abstract: Der Ausbau der Erneuerbaren Energien zur Stromerzeugung wird in Deutschland durch die EEG-Umlage gefördert. Die Umlage belastet alle Stromverbraucher, unab-hängig davon, ob sie erneuerbar oder fossil erzeugten Strom nutzen. Auch die zu-nehmenden Netzausbaukosten werden auf die Stromverbraucher umgelegt, so dass grüner Strom im Vergleich zu fossilen Energieträgern relativ teuer wird und Projekte zur Sektorkopplung unattraktiv werden. Deshalb gibt es verschiedene Reformkon-zepte, die eine Begrenzung der Belastung der Stromverbraucher, eine Verbesserung der Effizienz und eine andere Verteilung der Belastung zum Ziel haben. Im Hinblick auf all diese Kriterien überzeugt das Konzept einer Haushaltsfinanzierung am ehes-ten, zumal es der herausragenden politischen Bedeutung des Vorhabens entspricht. Durch einen Aufschlag auf die Einkommen- und Körperschaftsteuer ("Energiesoli") könnte die Finanzierung der notwendigen Haushaltsmittel erfolgen und die EEG-Umlage dafür entfallen. Steuerzahler mit hohen Erträgen und geringem Stromver-brauch würden dadurch höher belastet. Für einkommensschwache Haushalte und Unternehmen mit hoher Stromintensität würde die Belastung sinken.
    JEL: Q52 Q58 F53
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Steven Robins
    Keywords: Public Investments and Infrastructure
    JEL: E6 L3 R4
  14. By: Kristie Ebi (Department of Global Health, University of Washington); Michael Keller; Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam; CESifo, Munich); Gary Yohe (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)
    Abstract: Secondary benefits (or costs), otherwise known in the literature as co-benefits or ancillary benefits, are the added net benefits that can be attributed to policies that are above and beyond the primary benefits of climate policies. For example, the primary benefit of greenhouse gas emission reduction is to reduce the magnitude of future climate change; the secondary benefits are expressed in terms of changes in the patterns and concentrations of other pollutants and their secondary compounds. The paper follows a brief review of studies that attempted to quantify health co-benefits with a discussion of the basic underlying economic structure built on first principles of economic thought. It not only portrays the complexity that erupts when there are multiple and interdependent positive or negative externalities across different sources, but also examines several, sometimes surprising conjectures that apply more widely to secondary benefit considerations of all stripes. Concludes remarks synthesize these conjectures for health contexts, for more general policy evaluations beyond the health sphere, and for aggregate constructions such as the social cost of carbon.
    Keywords: climate policy; secondary benefits
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2017–06
  15. By: George Marbuah (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences); Franklin Amuakwa-Mensah (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to an emerging literature on the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) relationship between pollution and income at the local level by analyzing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and total suspended particulate (TSP). We conduct several spatial statistical and econometric tests to account for spatial dependence between 290 Swedish municipalities on the selected emissions. Results highlight evidence that the pollution and income relationship is significantly characterized by spatial interaction effects. That is, municipality per capita emissions are strongly influenced by emissions trajectories in neighbouring municipalities. Implications of our findings on policy are discussed.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets curve, Spatial econometric analysis, Emissions, Sweden,
    JEL: Q53 Q55 R12
    Date: 2017–06
  16. By: Gars, Johan (GEDB, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences); Olovsson, Conny (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)
    Abstract: To what extent is the international business cycle affected by the fact that an essential input (oil) is traded on the world market? We quantify the contribution of oil by setting up a model with separate shocks to efficiencies of capital/labor and oil, as well as global shocks to the oil supply. We find that the shocks to the supply and the efficiency of oil both contribute to positive comovements. These two shocks are also relatively transitory, which induces high responses in output and low responses in consumption. As a consequence, the model resolves both the consumption correlation puzzle and the international comovement puzzle.
    Keywords: International comovements; business cycles; oil; productivity
    JEL: E32 F32 F41 Q43
    Date: 2017–05–01
  17. By: Adams, Zeno; Kartsakli, Maria
    Abstract: The financialization of crude oil markets over the last decade has changed the behavior of oil prices in fundamental ways. In this paper, we uncover the gradual transformation of crude oil from a physical to a financial asset. Although economic demand and supply factors continue to play an important role, recent indicators associated with financialization have emerged since 2008. We show that financial variables have become the main driving factors explaining the variation in crude oil returns and volatility today. Our findings have important implications for portfolio analysis and for the effectiveness of hedging in crude oil markets.
    Keywords: Crude Ois, Financialization, R-squared Decomposition
    JEL: Q40 Q41 G14
    Date: 2017–06
  18. By: Vislie, Jon (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: A global planning problem is analyzed for extracting an exhaustible resource like oil when resource extraction – the only source for current consumption – also generates additions to the stock of GHGs that influence the likelihood of hitting a threshold representing climate change. We derive conditions for optimal extraction when we take into account joint emissions that accumulate to a stock that is governing the planner’s beliefs of facing a climate change that will involve a loss in the production capacity of the global economy. Except for “annuity of the continuation payoff”, which is the stationary rate of welfare after a climate change, the optimality conditions are very similar to the results found in Loury (1978) - where optimal extraction of a non-renewable resource of unknown size was analyzed. Not surprisingly we find that extraction has a cost (“environmental cost”) beyond the standard opportunity cost (“resource rent”), implying a lower rate of extraction as long as no threshold has been hit, compared to the risk-free case. Such saving has an expected rate of return along an optimal strategy should be balanced against the standard required rate of return - the Keynes- Ramsey-Cass-Koopmans-condition.
    Keywords: Resource extraction; tipping point uncertainty; climate change
    JEL: C61 Q32 Q54
    Date: 2017–07–03
  19. By: Arnaud Millien (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The 7th Sustainable Development Goal aims to "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all". Because the cost to increase electrical capacity in Africa alone has been estimated at $800bn, this article investigates the extent to which electricity reliability could contribute to a reduction in the marginal cost of grid extension by attracting more customers. Using lightning as an instrument for outages severity, the article evaluates the assumption that less uncertainty about electricity availability would lead to a larger number of connected households. The article finds that a one percentage point increase in electricity reliability would yield a 0.67 percentage point increase in connections. Therefore, delivering fully reliable electrical power would allow an electricity company to achieve its targeted growth of customer base 15 months earlier than planned. The effect of reliability is highest for middle-rich households, which are the most reluctant to subscribe in the presence of total, severe or partial outages. A one-percentage-point upgrade in reliability increase the likelihood that these households will be connected by 1.28 percentage points. This article also finds that households are more sensitive to outages in areas where outages are less frequent. In addiction, the impact of reliability on households decision to connect could be at least 5% greater than the effect of poverty; if the frequency of outages is too high, the wealth or poverty effect might vanish and households would respond only to the excessively low reliability. These results confirm the uncertainty assumption, that is, regular and severe outages yield an uninsurable context that deters households from subscribing to the electric service.
    Keywords: Kenya,instrumental variable,electrification,reliability,outages
    Date: 2017–05
  20. By: Ortmann, Michael (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–04–04
  21. By: Gabriel Gomes; Emmanuel Hache; Valérie Mignon; Anthony Paris
    Abstract: Many developed countries promote the use of biofuels for environmental concerns, leading to a rise in the price of agricultural commodities utilized in their production. Such environmental policies have major effects on the economy of emerging and developing countries whose activity is highly dependent on agricultural commodities involved in biofuel production. This paper tackles this issue by examining the price impact of biofuels on the current account for a panel of 16 developing and emerging countries, and the potential nonlinear effect exerted by the price of oil on this relationship. Relying on the estimation of panel smooth-transition regression models, we show that positive shocks in the price of biofuels lead to a current-account improvement for agricultural commodity exporters and producers only when the price of oil is below a certain threshold. When the price of oil exceeds this threshold, uctuations in the price of biofuels no longer affect the current account. These findings illustrate that a rise in the price of oil exerts a negative effect on the trade balance of commodity exporters which are also oil importers, dampening the biofuel price impact on the current-account position.
    Keywords: Biofuels; Oil; Current account; Panel smooth transition regression.
    JEL: Q16 Q43 F32 C23
    Date: 2017
  22. By: Requate, Till (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–04–04
  23. By: Collins, Matthew; Curtis, John
    Abstract: Throughout the developed world, residential buildings in the rental sector exhibit lower levels of energy efficiency than the owner-occupied building stock. A double-bounded dichotomous choice contingent valuation method is used to examine how much renters are willing to pay in their monthly rent for improved energy efficiency, measured via energy performance certificates. The results of this analysis are used to examine the returns to investment available to landlords for various measures. Using an administrative dataset of residential retrofits, we examine the upfront cost to landlords of engaging in energy efficiency retrofits of varying depths and calculate the relevant payback period. Conditional upon possessing a non-zero willingness-to-pay, we find that tenants in Ireland are willing to pay an average of over €40 for each one-grade improvement in their accommodation’s Building Energy Rating. We find short payback periods for attic and cavity wall insulation and prohibitively long payback periods for external wall insulation and solar heating.
    Date: 2017–06
  24. By: Max-Peter Menzel; Johannes Kammer
    Abstract: In this study, we combine KlepperÕs framework on the evolution of industries with the Varieties of Capitalism approach to argue that industry evolution is mediated by institutional differences. We expect that new industries will evolve with a stronger connection to established industries in coordinated marked economies than in liberal market economies. Our assumptions are supported by the survival analysis of US and Danish wind turbine manufacturers from 1974 to 2014. Length:
    JEL: L64 O15 P51
    Date: 2017–07
  25. By: Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza; Thum, Marcel
    Abstract: The resource curse hypothesis suggests that resource-rich countries show lower economic growth rates compared to resource-poor countries. We add to this literature by providing empirical evidence on a new transmission channel of the resource curse, namely, the negative effect of rents on the quality of education. The cross-country analysis for more than 70 countries shows a significantly positive effect of oil rents on the quantity of education measured by government spending on primary and secondary education. Hence, the underspending hypothesis championed by Gylfason (2001) no longer holds with newer data. However, we find a robust and negative effect of oil rents dependency on the current objective and subjective indicators of quality of education, controlling for a set of other drivers of education quality and regional dummies. Despite pending significant shares of GDP on education, oil-rich countries still suffer from an insuficient quality of primary and secondary education,which may hamper their growth potentials. The significant negative effect of oil rents dependency on education quality can be explained by both the demand (e.g., skill acquisition) and supply (e.g., teacher quality) side channels.
    Keywords: oil rents,resource curse,quality of education,quantity of education
    JEL: H52 I25 Q32
    Date: 2017
  26. By: Cappelletti, Alessandra
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to unveil the main cultural patterns adopted by the Chinese leadership to project smart power abroad, and to provide a new perspective on the claims by Chinese scholars and politicians who argue that a new paradigm in international relations is being promoted by Beijing. Principles as "inclusiveness", "in-win cooperation", "peaceful rise", "harmonious world" - often raised in relation with China's vision for a new global order and its flagship policy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - are part of a new narrative which cannot replace, for instance, fundamental issues as a clear regulatory framework needed for enterprises willing to participate in BRI-related infrastructural and energy projects. The lack of a clear legal framework is at the moment one of the most important problem hindering foreign firms' ability to invest and grow within the China-led initiative. The importance of this study rests on the necessity to find new interpretative insights to understand the main driving forces behind China's foreign policy (often not complying with Western-set rules and practices) by assessing the role of Chinese classical culture in the projection of China's smart power. The main cultural patterns and perspectives guiding Chinese policies abroad; the possibility that the Chinese government is introducing a narrative shift in global policy practices; the surfacing of a possible new way for international relations consistently based on an effort to improve international relations and enhance the state of world affairs, or maybe simply of a strategic scheme meant to avoid creating a clearer framework which could guarantee access to the initiative to all interested parts, at the same time limiting Beijing's power to arbitrarily choose partners and directions, will all be objects of reflection.
    Keywords: cultural diplomacy,soft power,smart power,Chinese politics,knowledge construction,cultural narratives,identity
    Date: 2017
  27. By: Courtney Jung
    Abstract: In less than a decade, foreign investors have erected more than 3,200 wind turbines across the Isthmus of Techuantepec investing billions of dollars and generating more than 90 per cent of Mexico’s wind energy. The isthmus is also home to more than one thousand indigenous communities whose ancestors settled in the region roughly 3,000 years ago. In most cases, wind farm construction has proceeded without significant community opposition. More recently, however, some indigenous communities have begun to protest against the wind turbines that are taking over their land and transforming their landscape. An intersectional approach highlights two distinct features of the politics of horizontal inequality. First, political strategies and demands may shift over time and across issue areas—opposition to windmills may be generated by exclusion from decision-making, inadequate compensation, or the violation of sacred land. Second, the lens of intersectionality focuses attention on the ways that such categories as race, class, ethnicity, gender, language and region intersect to challenge the ‘group-ness’ of any one of these categories. In the case of indigenous opposition to wind technology in Mexico, intersectionality explains the particular challenges inherent in securing ‘free prior and informed consent’, a cornerstone of contemporary policy toward indigenous peoples.
    Date: 2017
  28. By: Ergen, Timur
    Abstract: The paper traces the rise and decline of solar cell commercialization efforts during the 1970s and early 1980s in the United States. It shows how technology policies for photovoltaic appliances gained and lost support in a time of increasing uncertainty about future resource supplies and the future of energy provision. Contrary to conventional explanations of the long history of failures to commercialize renewable energy technologies that emphasize path dependencies around established energy technologies, this paper explains the rise and decline of early solar cell policies from the perspective of internal sectoral developments. It demonstrates that cohesion among political economic supporters was critical for public perceptions of the intermediary success of the effort, to continuous investment by industry, and to the maintenance of political support. The paper suggests that support for new industries and technologies is dependent on sectoral order among supporting groups over time. The case of the early photovoltaics policies illustrates how the failure to keep groups unified and committed undermined the implementation of the technology policies, weakened the credibility of the developmental effort, and ultimately led to a decline in political support. The paper contributes to recent debates about the conditions of successful industrial and technology policies by demonstrating that network failures have an important political dimension if ruptures of sectoral cooperation feed back on state support for the respective industry or technology.
    Keywords: technology policy,renewable energy,institutional change,governance,innovation,Technologiepolitik,erneuerbare Energien,institutioneller Wandel,Governance,Innovation
    Date: 2017
  29. By: Lynch, Muireann Á.; Devine, Mel
    Abstract: Demand from datacentres makes up a rapidly growing portion of electricity demand in Ireland. Increased demand in turn gives rise to increased renewable generation, mandated by government targets, and a corresponding increase in subsidisation levels. The current method of apportioning renewable subsidy costs may lead to consumers other than datacentres bearing this excess cost of subsidisation. This letter calculates the expected impact on these consumers.
    Date: 2017–06

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