Energy transitions and uncertainty: creating low carbon investment opportunities in the UK electricity sector

Bolton, Ronan, Foxon, Timothy J and Hall, Stephen (2016) Energy transitions and uncertainty: creating low carbon investment opportunities in the UK electricity sector. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34 (8). pp. 1387-1403. ISSN 0263-774X

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Abstract

This paper examines how actors in the UK electricity sector are attempting to deliver investment in low carbon generation. Low carbon technologies, because of their relative immaturity, capital intensity and low operational costs, do not readily fit with existing electricity markets and investment templates which were designed for fossil fuel based energy. We analyse key electricity market and infrastructure policies in the UK and highlight how these are aimed at making low carbon technologies ‘investable’ by reducing uncertainty, managing investment risks and repositioning actors within the electricity socio-technical ‘regime’. We argue that our study can inform contemporary debates on the politics and governance of sustainability transitions by empirically investigating the agency of incumbent regime actors in the face of uncertainty and by offering critical insights on the role of markets and finance in shaping socio-technical change.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Low carbon investment, uncertainty, sustainability transitions, energy
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit > SPRU Working Paper Series
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE170 Environmental policy
Depositing User: Timothy Foxon
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2016 08:27
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 21:28
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/59634

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