Rethinking the governance of energy infrastructure: Scale, decentralization and polycentrism

TitleRethinking the governance of energy infrastructure: Scale, decentralization and polycentrism
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsGoldthau, A.
Journal titleEnergy Research & Social Science
Year2014
Pages134–140
Volume1
Issue1
Abstract

Providing societies with reliable energy services, fighting energy poverty and mitigating climate change entail a crucial infrastructure component. Both the energy access and the low carbon challenge require more decentralized energy solutions and a change in the energy infrastructure paradigm. Yet, physical energy infrastructure co-evolves with socio-economic institutions, actors and social norms. This may produce inertia against change. The energy challenge also requires solutions at multiple scales and may entail elements of common pool resource problems. Therefore, the governance of energy infrastructure needs to be polycentric. This allows for contextualization, experimentation and innovation. The article concludes by sketching routes of further research into the energy infrastructure governance nexus in social science research.

LanguageEnglish
DOI10.1016/j.erss.2014.02.009
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