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Alberto Clò

In 2006, the energy question—and in particular the natural gas emergency

that will be discussed here—was brought to the attention of

public opinion, of political and economic debate, and of the electoral

contest. First, it needs to be made clear that on both sides, and within

the two coalitions, demagoguery prevailed over pragmatism. Similarly,

the propensity to demonize the proposals of opponents tended

to hold sway over attempts to contribute constructively to the discussion.

Thus, a game of mutual vetoes and false propositions took place,

characterized by erroneous diagnoses aimed solely at avoiding the

electoral costs that the required choices would have imposed. This

had the inevitable result of confusing public opinion, which should

be aware of the issue, and feeding the general “right of veto,” which,

since before the reform of Title V of the Constitution, has allowed

anyone to prevent others from doing anything—with the result that

nothing happens.

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When the Exit?

The Difficult Politics of German Coal

Tessa Coggio and Thane Gustafson

This article considers Germany’s contentious exit from brown coal (lignite), now set for 2038. While greener alternatives, such as wind, solar, or natural gas have been reducing coal’s standing in Germany’s energy mix for years, coal proponents, backed by special interests, have pushed back at all levels of government. With a focus on the politics of coal during the 2017 parliamentary elections, the tedious months of coalition negotiations and the work of the coal committee since summer 2018, we explore how policymakers try to reconcile competing interests at the federal state, local, as well as international levels.

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Franco Ruzzenenti and Aleksandra Wagner

the Luhmannian idea of temporal structures in modern society, which helps us understand this concept’s incredible career in the field of energy policy. The theoretical framework is supported by examples of the Jevons paradox and the rebound effect. The

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Where to Now?

Germany Rethinks its Energy Transition

Josephine Moore and Thane Gustafson

It is now broadly acknowledged by all the major players, both in business and in politics, that Germany will miss its 2020 targets by a wide margin. This prospect is causing a nationwide re-examination of the foundations of the energy policy

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Erik Gawel, Sebastian Strunz, and Paul Lehmann

The German energy transition repeatedly faces harsh critiques questioning its economic and environmental merits. This article defends the energy transition and argues that Germany has chosen an economically efficient and particularly forceful approach to securing a sustainable energy supply. Though current expenditures are high, the long-term benefits of transforming the energy system to a renewables-based system are likely to outweigh present investment costs. Furthermore, support policies for renewables are not redundant-as some critics claim-but instead complement other policy instruments, such as the emissions trading scheme. This article also addresses the motives behind the discrediting attacks on the German energy policy regime. Defensive actions by beneficiaries of the former energy market structure are only to be expected, but the attacks from liberal economists are astonishingly fierce.

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Carol Hager

The energy revolution poses a fundamental challenge to the German corporatist institutional model. The push for renewables in Germany arose almost entirely outside the prevailing channels of institutional power. Eventually, federal legislation helped support the boom in local energy production that was already underway, and it encouraged the further development of new forms of community investment and citizen participation in energy supply. Recently, the federal government has tried to put the genie back in the bottle by shifting support to large energy producers. But, as this article shows, the energy transition has provided a base for local power that cannot easily be assailed. The debate over German energy policy is becoming a contest between centralized and decentralized models of political and economic power. Prevailing institutionalist theories have difficulty accounting for these developments. I analyze the local development of renewable energy by means of a case study of the Freiburg area in southwestern Germany, which has evolved from a planned nuclear power and fossil fuel center to Germany's “solar region”. Incorporating insights from ecological modernization theory, I show how the locally based push for renewables has grown into a challenge to the direction of German democracy itself.

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Marco Sonnberger and Michael Ruddat

Wind Power: A Critique of Key Assumptions Within the Literature ”. Energy Policy 38 ( 4 ): 1834 – 1841 . 10.1016/j.enpol.2009.11.060 Aitken , Mhairi . 2010b . “ Wind Power and Community Benefits: Challenges and Opportunities ”. Energy Policy

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Uneasy Entanglements

Solar Energy Development in Zanzibar

Erin Dean

from multiple scales and with special attention to temporality (cf Doughty 2019 ). I consider the calculus being made at the level of Zanzibari energy policy and investment in renewable energy, investment focused on decreasing dependence on mainland

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Imagining Futures of Energy

Views from Central Asia

Markus S. Schulz

about how its use would impact global climate. The Chinese pavilion featured an animated show likening the power of fusion to a dragon. Germany’s pavilion was organized under the theme “energy on track,” emphasizing the country’s post-Fukushima energy

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Prelude to a Grid

Energy, Gender and Labour on an Electric Frontier

Kristin D. Phillips

lack the relations to people and the landscape that they need to access or produce other types of value. The invisibility of this human energy in energy policy and scholarly analyses stands as a reminder of the gendered bias towards public, official and