University College London Public Engagement, Technological Identity and Market Mechanisms to Promote Renewable Electricity
Renewable electricity policies are implemented in a fast growing number of countries around the world. Sometimes ambitious targets of electricity to be generated by renewable sources are fixed. Different incentives mechanisms to promote renewable energy technologies have been created in Western countries and are now transferred in non Western countries.
This research tackles the issue of the inclusiveness of such mechanisms, notably of the capacity of the two main mechanisms - feed-in tariff laws and green certificates combined with quota obligations – to attract new actors in the electricity sector and favor public engagement. Do these mechanisms create, prolong or reinforce a technological identity with some renewable energy technology which makes them distinct to conventional generation of electricity? Is this "identity - ecological modernisation" (Dave Toke) always needed for the take-off of renewable energy technologies in a country?
This paper will rely on an annual review of energy policies in developing countries and examine several renewable energy policies from countries where public identification with renewable energy technologies seems a priori more limited; it will compare these policies to the design of support mechanisms in a few leading industrial countries. It will then conclude on the implications of different levels of public engagement to the development of the renewable energy sector.