Regulatory change in UK renewable energy support policies: the role of discourse and ideology
This paper examines policy change within UK electricity regulation and market reform for climate change policies, focusing on renewable energy regulation in the UK for low-carbon electricity generation technologies: questioning what drives the choice in frameworks, regulatory tools and mechanisms to support renewable energy deployment in the UK policy process? The paper also examines the motivations for reform, government rhetorics, and how actors (from government, business, public, stakeholders) inform the policy process and choice of mechanisms. The central regulatory mechanisms investigated are the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO), Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), and Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs). Findings suggest that several discourses are present in UK renewable energy policy, however, an orthodoxy around the value of market mechanisms has developed since privatisation. The work concludes that economic rationalities driving institutional and ideational regulatory choices are employed to such an extent that other voices and discourses are excluded from the policy process.
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