Changes to the energy supply infrastructure are a vital component of climate change mitigation strategies. But what exactly underlies changes to energy supply infrastructure? This paper, through exploration and critical analysis of relevant literature, explores the various underpinning influences on energy infrastructure supply using a comparison of different theoretical perspectives. These influences were explored with specific emphasis on techno-economics, social psychology, socio-technical transitions, social practices and institutional dimensions to energy supply. The aim was to have a better understanding of the (direct and indirect) role of politics and the political system in influencing energy supply infrastructure decisions through the various theoretical lenses. The study revealed that techno-economics uses financial instruments and market information as intervention tools. Its effectiveness is measured by social welfare and cost effectiveness. Social psychology uses a combination of information, incentives and innovative informative instruments as its intervention tools. Its effectiveness is measured by behavioural change. Institutions use regulatory instruments as its intervention tool. Its effectiveness is measured by regulatory compliance. Social practices look at change in broader social systems. Its effectiveness is measured by social change. Socio-technical transitions focus on determining social movements and social innovations. Its effectiveness is measured by legitimacy and social learning.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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