The greening of European electricity industry: a battle of modernities
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Europe has played the role of a green hegemon on the global arena for several decades. By exploring its green transition in the electricity industry, the article discusses whether Europe is on track with regard to delivering sustainable development in a core sector at home. The article finds that the greening of European electricity industry has been highly dynamic and can best be represented in terms of competing modernities; where carbon, nuclear, renewables and demand side management challenge each other in the race for sustainable energy solutions. The article describes Greening European electricity industry as a complex institutional game which resembles a relay race where various factors have driven innovation at different stages. Change may be initially have been politically driven, while the baton is later taken by markets, technology or civic mobilization. The article shows how strong greening policies may lead to blockage, whereas softer and less confrontational policies with triggering effects may have a better chance of success. The article also argues that a central factor in the apparent European success in greening electricity has been an advantageous blend of technology push and market pull approaches, which has merged out of national rivalry rather than coordinated planning.
This is the author’s final, accepted and refereed manuscript to the article