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Energy, economic and environmental discourses and their policy impact: The case of Ontario׳s Green Energy and Green Economy Act

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  • Winfield, Mark
  • Dolter, Brett

Abstract

This paper examines the debates around the Ontario׳s Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEGEA) as an energy and economic development strategy through comparative public policy and discourse analysis approaches. The evidence regarding the economic impacts of the GEGEA is found to be almost entirely based on the results of economic modeling exercises. Critics and supporters of the legislation have arrived at very different conclusions through such exercises. These outcomes are similar to those seen in other jurisdictions pursuing renewable energy initiatives, such as Feed In Tariffs (FITs), renewables obligations and portfolio standards. A discourse analysis approach is employed to examine the reasons for the different conclusions being reached over the impacts of renewable energy initiatives. Differences in modeling approaches and assumptions are found to reflect differences in ideational perspectives on the part of the modelers with respect to the appropriate roles of markets and the state and the relationship between economic development and environmental sustainability in public policy. The paper concludes with suggestions regarding the gathering and availability of information regarding economic development in the renewable energy sector, and a discussion of potential ways to strengthen future efforts to understand the economic and environmental impact of renewable energy initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Winfield, Mark & Dolter, Brett, 2014. "Energy, economic and environmental discourses and their policy impact: The case of Ontario׳s Green Energy and Green Economy Act," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 423-435.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:68:y:2014:i:c:p:423-435
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.01.039
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bougette, Patrice & Charlier, Christophe, 2015. "Renewable energy, subsidies, and the WTO: Where has the ‘green’ gone?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 407-416.
    2. Hannum, Christopher & Cutler, Harvey & Iverson, Terrence & Keyser, David, 2017. "Estimating the implied cost of carbon in future scenarios using a CGE model: The Case of Colorado," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 500-511.
    3. repec:spr:jenvss:v:7:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13412-016-0419-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:111:y:2017:i:c:p:32-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:enepol:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:572-583 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fast, Stewart & Mabee, Warren, 2015. "Place-making and trust-building: The influence of policy on host community responses to wind farms," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 27-37.
    7. Rosenbloom, Daniel & Berton, Harris & Meadowcroft, James, 2016. "Framing the sun: A discursive approach to understanding multi-dimensional interactions within socio-technical transitions through the case of solar electricity in Ontario, Canada," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 1275-1290.

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