Policy and public engagement

Stortingssalen. Foto.During the last decade we have seen several changes in energy and environmental policies related to mitigation and adaptation of climate change while keeping in mind the concerns for security of supplies, economic development as well as local ecological concerns such as biological diversity. There is a growing need for electricity, but it remains a challenge to identify appropriate means for realizing new renewable production capacity, relicensing current capacities as well as securing transmission and distribution of electricity taking into account environmental and social concerns.

Climate change challenges require changes in energy use. Solutions based on renewable energy must replace power sources that damage the environment. Although the suggestion of regulated watercourses for electricity production has caused political conflicts, the hydroelectricity remains one of the solutions to the climate change related demands. Moreover hydropower is one of the solutions to ensure power storage and supply and further social development. CEDREN research has a focus on the political management practices, innovation and entrepreneurship in the renewable energy industry aimed at reconciling economic, social and environmental concerns.

The European Union has set ambitious goals for renewable energy. An increase in renewable energy production will help reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen energy security in Europe. Both factors are vital to sustainable development. In order to make use of the increased energy production, an essential prerequisite is the realization of power lines to transport the power to the consumers. However, grid development projects can be highly controversial. Major projects have been delayed, postponed and ultimately shelved. The causes are multifaceted and can be different from case to case. Nevertheless, claims of negative impacts on biodiversity, tourism, cultural heritage and landscape are often a common denominator for the resistance.

CEDREN research related to energy and environmental policy addresses both studies of governance and political regulation as well as studies of public engagement and cooperative management to stimulate renewable energy with a better environmental and societal design.

Stortinget. Foto.

Photo: Stortinget, Oslo, Norway - Stortinng building. Foto: Tm (CC-BY 2.0)

Top photo: Spørretimen i Stortinget 22.11.07. Lars Røed Hansen (CC-BY 2.5)