Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Policy-relevant insights for regional renewable energy deployment

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-08, 17:05 authored by Carla De LaurentisCarla De Laurentis, Peter J. G. Pearson
Background The paper explores how regional actors engage with energy systems, flows and infrastructures in order to meet particular goals and offers a fine-tuned analysis of how differences arise, highlighting the policy-relevant insights that emerge. Methods Using a novel framework, the research performs a comparative case study analysis of three regions in Italy and two of the devolved territories of the UK, Wales and Scotland, drawing on interviews and documentary analysis. Results The paper shows that acknowledging the socio-materialities of renewable energy allows a fine-tuned analysis of how institutions, governance and infrastructure can enable/constrain energy transitions and policy effectiveness at local and regional levels. The heuristic adopted highlights (i) the institutions that matter for renewable energy and their varied effects on regional renewable energy deployment; (ii) the range of agencies involved in strategically establishing, contesting and reproducing institutions, expectations, visions and infrastructure as renewable energy deployment unfolds at the regional level and (iii) the nature and extent of infrastructure requirements for and constraints on renewable energy delivery and how they affect the regional capacity to shape infrastructure networks and facilitate renewable energy deployment. The paper shows how the regions investigated developed their institutional and governance capacity and made use of targets, energy visions and spatial planning to promote renewable energy deployment. It shows that several mediating factors emerge from examining the interactions between regional physical resource endowments and energy infrastructure renewal and expansion. The analysis leads to policy-relevant insights into what makes for renewable energy deployment. Conclusion The paper contributes to research that demonstrates the role of institutional variations and governance as foundations for geographical differences in the adoption of renewable energy, and carries significant implications for policy thinking and implementation. It shows why and how policy-makers need to be more effective in balancing the range of goals/interests for renewable energy deployment with the peculiarities and specificities of the regional contexts and their infrastructures. The insights presented help to explain how energy choices and outcomes are shaped in particular places, how differences arise and operate in practice, and how they need to be taken into account in policy design, policy-making and implementation.


Published in

Energy, Sustainability and Society




  • VoR (Version of Record)


De Laurentis, C. and Pearson, P.J.(2021) 'Policy-relevant insights for regional renewable energy deployment', Energy, Sustainability and Society, 11(1), pp.1-21.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Management

Cardiff Met Authors

Carla De Laurentis

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Welsh Centre for Business and Management Research

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

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