There exists an inter-party compromise platform within the Norwegian Parliament to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Norway has also adopted targets related to the increased production and consumption of renewable energy. The EU has recently agreed to energy and climate-change policy targets which Norway will endorse as part of the EEA agreement. But how will these targets be achieved?
By focusing on policy, marked, technology, environment and society we can:
- Contribute to value creation in the energy sector by developing holisitic knowledge of governance, participation and societal acceptance
- Identify common goals and measures across different sector interests
- Discuss governance structures and consequences of decisions on stakeholder action
- In close dialogue with the technical, environmental and social science competence we seek to contribute to solution-oriented research
- Strengthen the communication of diecison-making relevant knowledge that can contribute to the realization of a sustainable energy system
The importance of non-technical analysis of the energy sector
Contemporary society is already in possession of the technology necessary to both achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and increase the share of renewable energy as a proportion of total energy consumption. However, social, economic and political factors consitute the framework governing the path of realisation and innovation of such technologies. The unit on Policy and Governance intends, therefore, to analyse these and other factors which influence the achievement of national, regional and global policy targets.
The relevance of non-technical issues can be illustrated by means of a model which was developed by William M. Lafferty and Audun Ruud in the book Promoting Sustainable Electricity in Europe. The book was written to better understand the implementation of the EU's 2001 Renewable Electricity Directive at national level. The Directive has now been replaced by the extended Renewables Directive of 2009, which Norway will adopt. The point of departure for the model was a need to improve the dominant ‘techno-market model’ currently popular in EU-sponsered research. As the figure demonstrates, this is accomplished by directly integrating ‘contextual variables’ as vital conditions for the effectiveness of the techno-market model.