Developed countries with minimal energy self-sufficiency struggle with lowering their dependence on oil and coal. Security guarantees countermeasures against global warming, and ensuring new energy sources are issues that have driven their choices between nuclear power generation and promotion of renewable energy resources in recent years. Individual nations such as Japan and Germany have been implementing various policies according to their own political and social circumstances, and often these circumstances include discussions and negotiations among diverse actors with different viewpoints and objectives. The networks formed by overcoming the cleavage between the electric power industry and the community consisting mainly of environmental organizations and left-wing political forces could also function as an additional means for environmental actors to break through the impasse formed by the political structure. However, in assessing the effectiveness of the ties that overcome this confrontation, in addition to the existence of ties that connect such communities, it is also necessary to consider whether the influence of environmental actors through intermediary networks extends to the policy formation process. This paper describes the networks involved in the renewable energy feed-in tariff system enacted in Japan after March 2011 and in Germany in the early 2000s and 2012 to investigate such influences. When comparing the energy policies of Japan and Germany, corresponding networks unifying the two communities in both countries were observed in an analysis that emphasizes the existence of ties. However, an in-depth analysis of attitude-based networks and hyperlink networks focusing on policy reveals the predominance of economic and industrial interests in Japan, as well as functional differences even within the same corresponding networks.

Hartwig, Manuela, Kobashi, Yohei, Okura, Sae, and Tkach-Kawasaki, Leslie
Energy policy participation through networks transcending cleavage: an analysis of Japanese and German renewable energy promotion policies
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Jul 2015
Quality & Quantity