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Title: Towards Better Development Policy: Understanding the Socio-Political Economy of Wind Power
Keywords: wind, power, energy, policy, socio-political economy
Issue Date: 24-Mar-2010
Citation: SCOTT VICTOR VALENTINE (2010-03-24). Towards Better Development Policy: Understanding the Socio-Political Economy of Wind Power. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Wind power has the potential to play a leading role in the exigent challenge to facilitate a global transition away from fossil fuel electricity generation. Unfortunately, it is still a comparatively costly form of electricity generation when external costs associated with electricity generation technologies are ignored, as they historically have been in all advanced nations. Accordingly, a great deal of attention is given to evaluating the effectiveness of economic policy instruments to help close the cost disparity between wind power and coal-fired power, which is the preferred source of electricity generation technology in many nations around the world. Although such attention is certainly warranted, this thesis demonstrates that there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that non-economic impediments to wind power development also exist and can threaten the efficacy of even the most suitable economic instruments in terms of catalyzing expedient development of wind power. The focus of this thesis is on examining STEP (social, technical, economic and political) impediments to wind power development both at a project level and at a national planning level. It will be demonstrated that these forces interact to form a web of impediments. If wind power development policies are to be designed and implemented for optimum impact, policymakers cannot afford to neglect non-economic impediments. Part 1 of the thesis examines STEP impediments at the micro (regional or project) policy level. For policymakers who are tasked with the responsibility for either creating regional wind power development support policy or overseeing the development of public wind power projects, part 1 of the thesis provides insights in cost control, community relation management, environmental planning, wind power potential analysis, project tender design and CO2 emission evaluation that are deemed necessary to optimize policy decisions at the micro-level. Part 2 of the thesis examines STEP impediments at the macro (national) policy level. This part introduces detailed case studies of wind power development in four advanced nations (Australia, Canada, Japan and Taiwan) which have track records of phlegmatic wind power development. The intent of the case studies is to extract insights into impediments that cause such stilted progress. Therefore, part 2 concludes by tying all four case studies into a STEP framework which explicates the social, technical, economic and political barriers that hinder adoption of effective national wind power development policies. For energy policy practitioners, this thesis represents a necessary consolidation of requisite knowledge to improve the efficacy of wind power development policy. From an academic perspective, this work remedies a major lacuna in wind energy policy by explicating the impediments to effective wind power development from a policymaking perspective.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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