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Energy sustainability, stakeholder conflicts, and the future of hydrogen in Denmark


  • Peter Andreasen, Kristian
  • Sovacool, Benjamin K.


Denmark spends the most on hydrogen research (in Gross Domestic Product terms) than any other country in the world, which has led to an immense amount of activity related to hydrogen fuel cells within the past decade. However, not all stakeholders in the Danish hydrogen network share the same vision for the technology. This study therefore uses critical stakeholder analysis to first identify the most influential actors involved in hydrogen research before it documents a set of stakeholder conflicts. The study has a threefold conclusion that urges analysts to rethink how they view stakeholder contention within the Danish hydrogen research network. First, the study concludes that hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are still open for interpretation and the application is thus a conflict area between stakeholders. Second, stakeholder conflict can contribute to technical development according to an evolutionary economics perspective. Third, consensus regarding energy system transitions is by nature temporary and, at times, can be counterproductive to the advancement of hydrogen technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Andreasen, Kristian & Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2014. "Energy sustainability, stakeholder conflicts, and the future of hydrogen in Denmark," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 891-897.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:39:y:2014:i:c:p:891-897
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.158

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Aligica, 2006. "Institutional and Stakeholder Mapping: Frameworks for Policy Analysis and Institutional Change," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 79-90, March.
    2. Clark II, Woodrow W. & Rifkin, Jeremy, 2006. "A green hydrogen economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2630-2639, November.
    3. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Brossmann, Brent, 2010. "Symbolic convergence and the hydrogen economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1999-2012, April.
    4. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Lindboe, Hans H. & Odgaard, Ole, 2008. "Is the Danish Wind Energy Model Replicable for Other Countries?," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 27-38, March.
    5. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2013. "Energy policymaking in Denmark: Implications for global energy security and sustainability," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 829-839.
    6. Brown, James E. & Hendry, Chris N. & Harborne, Paul, 2007. "An emerging market in fuel cells? Residential combined heat and power in four countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2173-2186, April.
    7. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    8. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2009. "The intermittency of wind, solar, and renewable electricity generators: Technical barrier or rhetorical excuse?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 288-296, September.
    9. Lund, H. & Möller, B. & Mathiesen, B.V. & Dyrelund, A., 2010. "The role of district heating in future renewable energy systems," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1381-1390.
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