T17cP20 - Energy Decentralization

Topic : Sectorial Policy - Environment

Panel Chair : Magali Dreyfus - magali.dreyfus@univ-lille2.fr

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

The energy issue is a transversal topic which crosscuts several public policy fields and addresses several challenges (e.g. climate change, energy security, economic development, social inequalities). Taking action in this sector is therefore a priority for central governments for domestic reasons but also to tackle global challenges and build sustainable futures. In particular, the energy sector entails opportunities for climate co-benefits through the development of renewable energies, improvement of energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse-gases emissions.

Yet, policy-makers and the scientific community have early recognised the role of local governments, and in particular cities, in the development of sustainable environmental policies and climate governance.

Traditional centralised energy systems seem outdated and a decentralized, new model of governance seems, for many actors, more adequate. In fact, scholars have shown that energy transition cannot be based only on a technical shift. Therefore a redistribution of powers and competencies across scales,  as well as new patterns of intergovernmental relations, are keys to the efficiency of low-carbon policies.

Depending on the domestic institutional context, local governments may have important competencies in energy production and/or supply, planning and energy demand management.  The aim of this panel is to examine experiences of decentralization in the energy sector or any reforms introduced to foster the phasing out of fossil (or fissile) energy based systems.  Potential topics for the panel might include the following (indicative):

 This list is indicative and other pertinent paper proposals may be selected.

Call for papers

The aim of the panel “energy decentralization” is to explore the relations between central and local governments in the energy sector.

Depending on the domestic institutional context, local governments may have important competencies in energy production and/or supply, planning and energy demand management. The aim of the panel is to examine experiences of decentralization in the energy sector or any reforms introduced to foster the phasing out of fossil (or fissile) energy based systems.

Against this background the panel welcomes papers which address the above issue and in particular contributions presenting institutional reforms triggered at the national level, but also local initiatives or any multi-level action aiming at starting/enhancing an energy transition process.

Paper should, as much as possible, highlight the reasons motivating the transformations, their debates or controversies, their stages (e.g. legal landmarks) and advancement, the degree of involvement of other stakeholders (citizens, businesses…)  impacts on citizens and environmental outcomes if available.

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