Toganova Natalia
Political and Economic Incentives of Green Energy
Publication Type:
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ISSN 1728-2756

DOI 10.17994/IT.2016.14.2.45/4

During the last two and a half decades Germany worked its way up to the successful development of green energy: the percent of renewable energy in the electric power consumption shot up, the renewable energy sector took shape, and the development of green energy is supported by all parties and the wider population. Based on the theories of norm establishment as well as analytical and theoretical works about the role of different factors in the development of green energy the author analyses its development in Germany and the influence of social-economic factors on different stages. The author concludes that at different norm establishment stages different social-economic factors played a leading role. Consequently, it is not possible to say that Germany’s success is due to one of among them. On the contrary there was a synergetic effect during a long time. The author demonstrates that at an early stage of norm elaboration the key role was played by public opinion. When the norm was introduced and approved by the actors the state started to play the key role, created the needed conditions and consolidated the interest groups. The economic motivations played an ambivalent role: on the one hand without economic resources development couldn’t take place, on the other, led by the greed for gain some interest groups plead for its expansion. The consolidation of support groups and the establishment of the renewable energy sector can be explained by the German law and institutions. The federal state structure prevents fast institutional changes and once approved a law is difficult to change or abolish. This lead to an unexpected growth of expenditure on renewable energy. Security considerations (power supply without cuts) didn't play on the stage of norm establishment a important role, but after the norm was approved and the amount of green energy increased they became more prominent. The German case shows that on the international level there is now an actor pressing for environmental responsibility in energy sector, but whether the norm will be adopted in other countries in the same shape depends on many factors. 

Keywords: renewable energy | German energy policy | normative cascade | energy security | German political parties |

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