Attitudes of incumbent regimes to a renewable energy transition: a case study of Queensland, Australia

McCarthy, Breda, and Eagle, Lynne (2019) Attitudes of incumbent regimes to a renewable energy transition: a case study of Queensland, Australia. In: Eweje, Gabriel, and Bathurst, Ralph J., (eds.) Clean, Green and Responsible? Soundings from Down Under. CSR, Sustainability, Ethics and Governance . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 227-252.

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Abstract

Transitions to renewable energy (RE) have been the subject of considerable debate in both academic and policy circles (Geels, Research Policy 31(8/9):1257–1274, 2002). In this study, we examine documents at both state and federal level to ascertain whether key stakeholders, such as mining, business, utilities and the energy sector, are concerned with, and effectively planning for, a renewable energy transition. It is critical to examine their views, since powerful stakeholders can strengthen, or undermine, the commitment of government to a renewable energy transition. The literature shows quite clearly that government policies are critical in transitions, for instance policies can spur private investment and influence actors’ perceptions of the risk-reward equation (Wüstenhagen and Menichetti, Energy Policy 40:1–10, 2012). We highlight the assumptions, narratives and tensions that underlie an energy transition. As a theoretical basis for this research, the lens of ‘social acceptance’, including socio-political, community and market acceptance, is employed (Wüstenhagen, Wolsink, and Bürer, Energy Policy 35(5):2683–2691, 2007). The study evaluates social acceptance of renewable energy on a continuum ranging from ‘not accepted’, ‘moving towards acceptance’, and ‘high acceptance’ where responses are progressive and innovative. Although scholars note that owners of fossil fuels are a powerful lobby group and are able to obstruct ambitious climate policy quite effectively because they are well-organised and their business models are based on the use of cheap fossil fuels (Edenhofer and Flachsland, Global Trends 2013. Development and Peace Foundation, Bonn, pp. 53–72; Hall and Taplin, Australian Journal of Social Issues 43(3):359–379, 2008), this study found that there is a certain level of social acceptance for an energy transition. Key stakeholders—mining, utilities, energy and the business sector—support an integrated climate and energy policy to help Australia meets its commitments under the Paris agreement.

Item ID: 59100
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-030-21435-7
Keywords: energy transitions, sustainability
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2019 00:49
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1505 Marketing > 150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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