ECN publication
Long-term electricity supply systems dynamics. A historic analysis
Scheepers, M.J.J.; Verbong, G.; Vleuten, E. van der
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-10-2002
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--02-084 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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In this report we have developed a general historical model for thedevelopment of national and European electricity supply systems. Our main thesis is that the critical problems of each era are formulated against the realities of the preceding era. Changing existing systems however is difficult, because of a technical, network related path dependency (contained within the existing electricity supply system) and a social, actor related path dependency.

We have also identified the main factors and drivers behind this process. For this purpose we have used a multi-level model, developed for analysing complex processes of socio-technical change. Each national electricity supply system can be described along four dimensions: the material infrastructure, the institutional framework, the fuel mix and the national (energy) political agenda. The major external or macro factors are: economic development, energy prices, technological development, the general drive for liberalisation, European integration, environmentalism and ?Events?. The European electricity supply system will also have a major impact on the development of national systems. Finally some implications for scenario development have been given.

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