Powershifts: a framework for assessing the growing impact of decentralized ownership of energy transitions on political decision-making

Brisbois, Marie Claire (2018) Powershifts: a framework for assessing the growing impact of decentralized ownership of energy transitions on political decision-making. Energy Research & Social Science, 50. pp. 151-161. ISSN 2214-6296

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (651kB)
[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivatives.

Download (454kB)

Abstract

Decentralized individual, community and co-operative renewable energy (CE) producers are capturing a growing share of electricity markets. As this share increases, CE producers are becoming increasingly effective political actors. The traditional political privilege enjoyed by incumbent electricity producers is challenged by CE actors as they shift control over jobs, growth and energy supplies. Political struggles between competing interests are increasing. However, the nature and extent of these power shifts (e.g., different policy outputs, changing political discourse), and their consequences for political systems and their outcomes (e.g., more democratic policy processes, action on climate) are poorly understood. This paper develops and tests an approach for understanding how decentralized energy transitions are reshaping political power structures, and consequent policy outcomes. Using an approach grounded in theory on power, policy making, transitions, and institutions, the paper develops a set of power queries that help reveal how political power is changing, and constraining or enabling transitions. The framework is tested through a case of political conflict over electricity in Ontario, Canada. Findings reveal a locked-in system, but also emergent transition pathways. The framework establishes a useful tool to address pressing questions about the socioeconomic and political impacts of the changing energy landscape.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Marie Brisbois
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 12:37
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 19:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/81809

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update