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Comparing electricity transitions : A historical analysis of nuclear, wind and solar power in Germany and Japan

Cherp, Aleh LU ; Vinichenko, Vadim LU ; Jewell, Jessica; Suzuki, Masahiro and Antal, Miklós (2017) In Energy Policy 101. p.612-628
Abstract

This paper contributes to understanding national variations in using low-carbon electricity sources by comparing the evolution of nuclear, wind and solar power in Germany and Japan. It develops and applies a framework for analyzing low-carbon electricity transitions based on interplay of techno-economic, political and socio-technical processes. We explain why in the 1970s–1980s, the energy paths of the two countries were remarkably similar, but since the 1990s Germany has become a leader in renewables while phasing out nuclear energy, whereas Japan has deployed less renewables while becoming a leader in nuclear power. We link these differences to the faster growth of electricity demand and energy insecurity in Japan, the easier... (More)

This paper contributes to understanding national variations in using low-carbon electricity sources by comparing the evolution of nuclear, wind and solar power in Germany and Japan. It develops and applies a framework for analyzing low-carbon electricity transitions based on interplay of techno-economic, political and socio-technical processes. We explain why in the 1970s–1980s, the energy paths of the two countries were remarkably similar, but since the 1990s Germany has become a leader in renewables while phasing out nuclear energy, whereas Japan has deployed less renewables while becoming a leader in nuclear power. We link these differences to the faster growth of electricity demand and energy insecurity in Japan, the easier diffusion of onshore wind power technology and the weakening of the nuclear power regime induced by stagnation and competition from coal and renewables in Germany. We show how these changes involve the interplay of five distinct mechanisms which may also play a role in other energy transitions.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Energy transitions, Germany, Japan, Nuclear power, Renewable electricity
in
Energy Policy
volume
101
pages
17 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85007256915
  • wos:000392768800060
ISSN
0301-4215
DOI
10.1016/j.enpol.2016.10.044
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e3a3d221-37e4-49f7-9173-8ca96252a8ac
date added to LUP
2017-02-14 12:42:07
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:49:36
@article{e3a3d221-37e4-49f7-9173-8ca96252a8ac,
  abstract     = {<p>This paper contributes to understanding national variations in using low-carbon electricity sources by comparing the evolution of nuclear, wind and solar power in Germany and Japan. It develops and applies a framework for analyzing low-carbon electricity transitions based on interplay of techno-economic, political and socio-technical processes. We explain why in the 1970s–1980s, the energy paths of the two countries were remarkably similar, but since the 1990s Germany has become a leader in renewables while phasing out nuclear energy, whereas Japan has deployed less renewables while becoming a leader in nuclear power. We link these differences to the faster growth of electricity demand and energy insecurity in Japan, the easier diffusion of onshore wind power technology and the weakening of the nuclear power regime induced by stagnation and competition from coal and renewables in Germany. We show how these changes involve the interplay of five distinct mechanisms which may also play a role in other energy transitions.</p>},
  author       = {Cherp, Aleh and Vinichenko, Vadim and Jewell, Jessica and Suzuki, Masahiro and Antal, Miklós},
  issn         = {0301-4215},
  keyword      = {Energy transitions,Germany,Japan,Nuclear power,Renewable electricity},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  pages        = {612--628},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Energy Policy},
  title        = {Comparing electricity transitions : A historical analysis of nuclear, wind and solar power in Germany and Japan},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2016.10.044},
  volume       = {101},
  year         = {2017},
}