Special Issue "Political Economy of Energy Policies"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. David Mares
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Interests: energy politics; interstate conflict; civil military relations; energy; drugs; energy markets and trading

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

I will be editing a Special Issue of the open access journal Energies on “The Political Economy of Energy Policies”. Energy, in its various forms, lies at the center of domestic and international politics. Development, social welfare, climate change, Russian adventurism, China’s new assertiveness, and the inconsistencies in US foreign and domestic policies all demonstrate the importance of energy supplies and trade. Policy decisions, whether specifically focused on energy or simply producing externalities on energy resources and markets, have a fundamental impact on the exploration, production, transmission, and distribution of energy supplies. For example, environmental and social licenses to operate are becoming ever more challenging, even for ‘green’ energy projects like wind and solar power. Associated mining issues, even for lithium to make the batteries to store renewable energy, are becoming more complicated and controversial.

This Special Issue seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges and determinants of policy choices that impact energy supplies, markets, and consumption. We invite papers on international and domestic topics regarding conventional, unconventional, and renewable sources of energy from different disciplines, which are relevant to policy choice, implementation, and evaluation. Illustrations of innovative responses to implement best practices are especially welcome.

Prof. Dr. David Mares
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy
  • energy policy
  • energy trade
  • energy markets
  • energy subsidies
  • renewables
  • wind
  • solar
  • natural gas
  • oil
  • hydrocarbons
  • climate change
  • energy storage
  • lithium

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Reverse Causality between Oil Policy and Fiscal Policy? The Venezuelan Experience
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2574; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092574 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 204
Abstract
This paper uses a model of intergenerational accounting to simulate the intergenerational distribution of oil wealth in Venezuela. Venezuelan oil production does not seem to follow an optimal extraction path. Nevertheless, this is true if we do not consider what the government does [...] Read more.
This paper uses a model of intergenerational accounting to simulate the intergenerational distribution of oil wealth in Venezuela. Venezuelan oil production does not seem to follow an optimal extraction path. Nevertheless, this is true if we do not consider what the government does with the resources received from the oil sector. We explored the interaction of oil policy and fiscal policy using such intergenerational accounting model. We argue that the way in which tax revenues (both, those coming from oil and those who do not) are used today can affect voters preferences on how they will be used tomorrow. These interactions could explain certain outcomes. In particular, the model could explain why the sector was open for investment in 1991 and then “re-nationalized” in 2001. Results suggest that when fiscal policy could leave an important burden to future generations, voters seem to favor a more tax-oriented oil policy, leaving the oil in the subsoil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy of Energy Policies)
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Open AccessArticle
Tackling Complexity of the Just Transition in the EU: Evidence from Romania
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1509; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051509 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The process of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and cutting CO2 emissions by 2030 by 55% compared to 1990 as per the EU Green Deal is highly complex. The energy mix must be changed to ensure long-term environmental sustainability, mainly by closing [...] Read more.
The process of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and cutting CO2 emissions by 2030 by 55% compared to 1990 as per the EU Green Deal is highly complex. The energy mix must be changed to ensure long-term environmental sustainability, mainly by closing down coal sites, while preserving the energy-intensive short-term economic growth, ensuring social equity, and opening opportunities for regions diminishing in population and potential. Romania is currently in the position of deciding the optimal way forward in this challenging societal shift while morphing to evidence-based policy-making and anticipatory governance, mainly in its two coal-mining regions. This article provides possible future scenarios for tackling this complex issue in Romania through a three-pronged, staggered, methodology: (1) clustering Romania with other similar countries from the point of view of the Just Transition efforts (i.e., the energy mix and the socio-economic parameters), (2) analyzing Romania’s potential evolution of the energy mix from the point of the thermal efficiency of two major power plants (CEH and CEO) and the systemic energy losses, and (3) providing insights on the socio-economic context (economic development and labor market transformations, including the component on the effects on vulnerable consumers) of the central coal regions in Romania. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy of Energy Policies)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Policy Imbalance in the Energy Sector: Time to Focus on the Value of CO2 Utilization
Energies 2021, 14(2), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020411 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2374
Abstract
Global warming is an existential threat to humanity and the rapid energy transition, which is required, will be the defining social, political and technical challenge of the 21st century. Practical experience and research results of recent years have showed that our actions to [...] Read more.
Global warming is an existential threat to humanity and the rapid energy transition, which is required, will be the defining social, political and technical challenge of the 21st century. Practical experience and research results of recent years have showed that our actions to cover the gap between real situation and aims of climate agreements are not enough and that improvements in climate policy are needed, primarily in the energy sector. It is becoming increasingly clear that hydrocarbon resources, which production volume is increasing annually, will remain a significant part of the global fuel balance in the foreseeable future. Taking this into account, the main problem of the current climate policy is a limited portfolio of technologies, focused on replacement of hydrocarbon resources with renewable energy, without proper attention to an alternative ways of decreasing carbon intensity, such as carbon sequestration options. This study shows the need to review the existing climate policy portfolios through reorientation to CO2 utilization and disposal technologies and in terms of forming an appropriate appreciation for the role of hydrocarbon industries as the basis for the development of CO2-based production chains. In this paper we argue that: (1) focusing climate investments on a limited portfolio of energy technologies may become a trap that keeps us from achieving global emissions goals; (2) accounting for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions losses, without taking into account the potential social effects of utilization, is a barrier to diversifying climate strategies; (3) with regard to hydrocarbon industries, a transition from destructive to creative measures aimed at implementing environmental projects is needed; (4) there are no cheap climate solutions, but the present cost of reducing CO2 emissions exceeds any estimate of the social cost of carbon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy of Energy Policies)
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Open AccessArticle
The Nexus Between Convergence of Conventional and Renewable Energy Consumption in the Present European Union States. Explorative Study on Parametric and Semi-Parametric Methods
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5272; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13205272 - 11 Oct 2020
Viewed by 506
Abstract
Economic and social progress is directly and closely related to energy consumption. In the latest decades, there is a higher need to reduce energy consumption from conventional sources, replacing it with energy obtained from unconventional sources. The environmental concern is one of the [...] Read more.
Economic and social progress is directly and closely related to energy consumption. In the latest decades, there is a higher need to reduce energy consumption from conventional sources, replacing it with energy obtained from unconventional sources. The environmental concern is one of the objectives of the European economic policy, with a particular focus on renewable energy consumption and energy efficiency in order to lower the environmental impact. In this context, we analyzed energy consumption per capita and renewable energy consumption per capita in the EU with the help of parametric methods, using the β-convergence model, and semiparametric methods, using the σ-convergence model. In this research we proposed to study six analysis models of the period 1960–2015, based on the availability of data. We concluded that the EU states went through a convergence process in a slow pace of energy consumption per capita and renewable energy per capita, showing a convergence pattern. The results of the study show that there is a relationship between the convergence of conventional energy consumption and the convergence of renewable (unconventional) energy consumption. The study covers a long period of time in which EU member states had different economic and social systems, implicitly different degrees and rates of development. In addition, the interest in renewable energy is relatively recent in the whole world. There is a possibility that future research will provide more optimistic results, in terms of accelerating the convergence rate, as appropriate measures and technologies are applied to renewable energy production in all EU member states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy of Energy Policies)
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Subsidy Solar PV Business Models to Tackle Fuel Poverty in Multi-Occupancy Social Housing
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4852; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184852 - 16 Sep 2020
Viewed by 753
Abstract
UK Feed-in Tariffs created a vibrant business ecosystem for the deployment of decentralised renewable energy technologies while constituting a regressive tax and increasing inequality. Business model innovation spurred by their withdrawal is providing valuable lessons for progressive policy design. Using the case study [...] Read more.
UK Feed-in Tariffs created a vibrant business ecosystem for the deployment of decentralised renewable energy technologies while constituting a regressive tax and increasing inequality. Business model innovation spurred by their withdrawal is providing valuable lessons for progressive policy design. Using the case study of solar PV deployment on multi-occupancy social housing, this paper reveals policy, business and organisational challenges that need to be overcome to address fuel poverty and reduce inequality. Suitable ‘export’ and ‘local’ business models were identified through a workshop and subsequently evaluated through qualitative thematic interview analysis. The ‘local’ model compares favourably in terms of production costs and benefits for fuel poor tenants but unfavourably in terms of transaction costs. Both models are considered equally susceptible to changes in policy. Their success hinges upon third party intermediaries, peer-to-peer learning and a supportive policy environment. This paper concludes with a policy recommendation to ensure that energy justice lies at the heart of the UK’s transition to net-zero carbon through the fair distribution of costs and benefits by including specific provisions to protect low-income groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy of Energy Policies)
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Open AccessArticle
Analyzing the Hydroelectricity Variability on Power Markets from a System Dynamics and Dynamic Systems Perspective: Seasonality and ENSO Phenomenon
Energies 2020, 13(9), 2381; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13092381 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
In this paper, the variations in hydropower generation are addressed considering the seasonality and ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) episodes. The dynamic hypothesis and the stock-flow structure of the Colombian electricity market were analyzed. Moreover, its dynamic behavior was analyzed by using Dynamic Systems [...] Read more.
In this paper, the variations in hydropower generation are addressed considering the seasonality and ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) episodes. The dynamic hypothesis and the stock-flow structure of the Colombian electricity market were analyzed. Moreover, its dynamic behavior was analyzed by using Dynamic Systems tools aimed at providing deep insight into the system. The MATLAB/Simulink model was used to evaluate the Colombian electricity market. Since we combine System Dynamics and Dynamic Systems, this methodology provides a novel insight and a deeper analysis compared with System Dynamics models and can be easily implemented by policymakers to suggest improvements in regulation or market structures. We also provide a detailed description of the Colombian electricity market dynamics under a broad range of demand growth rate scenarios inspired by the bifurcation and control theory of Dynamic Systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy of Energy Policies)
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Open AccessArticle
International Trade Disputes over Renewable Energy—the Case of the Solar Photovoltaic Sector
Energies 2020, 13(2), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020500 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
The development of the renewable energy industry is a priority of economic policies in many countries, since it is viewed as one of the key growth sectors in the economy, playing also a very important role in mitigating climate change. At the international [...] Read more.
The development of the renewable energy industry is a priority of economic policies in many countries, since it is viewed as one of the key growth sectors in the economy, playing also a very important role in mitigating climate change. At the international level, renewable energy is an issue of international cooperation but also an area of high trade tensions between countries. The main goal of this paper is to examine the nature and sources of recent trade disputes in the solar photovoltaic sector, which is the most dynamically growing sector in the green energy industry. In particular, the paper explores the links between the contemporary trade disputes and modern protectionism and between protectionist policies and practices and the export competitiveness in the growing sector of the economy. To achieve the aim of the study we explore in detail the WTO trade disputes over photovoltaic (PV) products, which occurred in the years 2007–2018. The products covered by the analysis were solar modules and cells classified under the HS code 854140. In our research we also used measures of descriptive statistics, hierarchical cluster analysis and revealed comparative advantage indexes. Our key results demonstrate the existence of links between protectionist policy causing trade conflicts and the export competitiveness. The research has also allowed us to identify problems of future studies concerning the association between trade protectionism and global value chains in the solar energy sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy of Energy Policies)
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