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Managing the energy trilemma: The case of Indonesia


  • Gunningham, Neil


This article argues that a central challenge for energy governance is how to manage a complex ‘energy trilemma’ involving the sometimes competing demands of energy security, climate change mitigation and (particularly in developing countries) energy poverty. It suggests that tensions between the horns of the trilemma, in large part, explain Indonesia’s current, profoundly suboptimal, energy policy. While these tensions are not inherently incapable of resolution, such resolution would require good governance at both state and global levels. The possibilities for and obstacles confronting such governance are explored and provisional solutions canvassed.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunningham, Neil, 2013. "Managing the energy trilemma: The case of Indonesia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 184-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:54:y:2013:i:c:p:184-193
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.11.018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Florini, Ann & Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2009. "Who governs energy? The challenges facing global energy governance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5239-5248, December.
    2. Budy P Resosudarmo & Ariana Alisjahbana & Ditya Agung Nurdianto, 2010. "Energy Security in Indonesia," Departmental Working Papers 2010-08, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    3. Garnaut,Ross, 2008. "The Garnaut Climate Change Review," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521744447.
    4. Ürge-Vorsatz, Diana & Tirado Herrero, Sergio, 2012. "Building synergies between climate change mitigation and energy poverty alleviation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 83-90.
    5. Susanne Olbrisch & Erik Haites & Matthew Savage & Pradeep Dadhich & Manish Kumar Shrivastava, 2011. "Estimates of incremental investment for and cost of mitigation measures in developing countries," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 970-986, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ben Campbell & Jon Cloke & Ed Brown, 2016. "Communities of energy," Economic Anthropology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 133-144, January.
    2. Dissanayake, Sumali & Mahadevan, Renuka & Asafu-Adjaye, John, 2020. "Evaluating the efficiency of carbon emissions policies in a large emitting developing country," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    3. Rehner, Robert & McCauley, Darren, 2016. "Security, justice and the energy crossroads: Assessing the implications of the nuclear phase-out in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 289-298.
    4. Colenbrander, Sarah & Gouldson, Andy & Sudmant, Andrew Heshedahl & Papargyropoulou, Effie, 2015. "The economic case for low-carbon development in rapidly growing developing world cities: A case study of Palembang, Indonesia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 24-35.
    5. Henseler, Martin & Maisonnave, Helene, 2018. "Low world oil prices: A chance to reform fuel subsidies and promote public transport? A case study for South Africa," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 45-62.
    6. Bilgili, Faik & Koçak, Emrah & Bulut, Ümit & Kuşkaya, Sevda, 2017. "Can biomass energy be an efficient policy tool for sustainable development?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 830-845.
    7. Forman, Alister, 2017. "Energy justice at the end of the wire: Enacting community energy and equity in Wales," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 649-657.
    8. Schaffartzik, Anke & Brad, Alina & Pichler, Melanie, 2017. "A world away and close to home: The multi-scalar ‘making of’ Indonesia's energy landscape," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 817-824.
    9. Chang, Youngho & Fang, Zheng & Li, Yanfei, 2016. "Renewable energy policies in promoting financing and investment among the East Asia Summit countries: Quantitative assessment and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 427-436.
    10. Šprajc, Polona & Bjegović, Miroslav & Vasić, Bojana, 2019. "Energy security in decision making and governance - Methodological analysis of energy trilemma index," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-1.
    11. Kurniawan, Robi & Managi, Shunsuke, 2018. "Coal consumption, urbanization, and trade openness linkage in Indonesia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 576-583.
    12. Holley, Cameron & Lecavalier, Emma, 2017. "Energy governance, energy security and environmental sustainability: A case study from Hong Kong," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 379-389.
    13. Ang, B.W. & Choong, W.L. & Ng, T.S., 2015. "Energy security: Definitions, dimensions and indexes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1077-1093.
    14. Stefan Bouzarovski & Saska Petrova & Sergio Tirado-Herrero, 2014. "From Fuel Poverty to Energy Vulnerability: The Importance of Services, Needs and Practices," SPRU Working Paper Series 2014-25, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.

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