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Från el till värme: en diskursanalytisk policystudie av energiomställning på statlig, kommunal och hushållsnivå
Örebro University, Department of Social and Political Sciences.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to analyse how space heating for single-family houses, and energy system conversion has been constructed and discussed at national, municipal and household levels. Political documents have been studied, and interviews have been carried out with politicians, civil servants and householders in the municipality of Falun. In order to study and analyse similarities and differences between these three political levels, the following main questions were asked: In which sense is the use of electrical heating formulated as problematic? How are the causes of these problems presented, and which solutions are suggested? What are the effects of how problems, causes and solutions are constructed?

At the national level, the use of electricity produced by nuclear power was considered a problem. Initially the municipality’s policy documents present the same problem, but there is a change of focus to the problem of imported electricity produced by fossil fuel, and the resulting emissions. At household level, the problem was often an old and badly functioning space-heating system. But some households did not formulate a problem before they converted. Instead they were influenced by their neighbours and thereby convinced.

At all three political levels, there is consensus on the households’ responsibility concerning energy transition. While industry tends to be considered incapable of cutting down its energy consumption, households are expected to take the responsibility seriously. Furthermore, within the household, the heating system tends to be constructed as a predominantly male concern.

At all three levels, households are perceived as dependant on economical subsidies when taking the decision to convert from electrical heating. Although it is interesting that the interviewed householders only apply this view to others than themselves. They are convinced that other households need subsidies to act in an environmentally correct way.

The discourse concerning the Swedish energy transition illustrates a shift away from a definition of ecological modernisation where environmental considerations influence economic development. The thesis clearly shows how economic arguments repeatedly influence environmental concerns. However, the tension between the two is played down and concealed through the lack of problematisation of the responsibility of industry, and through the focus on the need for education and future opportunities. Political dialogues concerning the use of electrical heating and the conversion of energy systems towards more renewable energies are dominated by economic arguments at the three levels. One effect of this is an assumption that energy policy instruments such as information and economic subsidies are essential for the energy transition. However, if householders rather are influenced by their neighbours should the government use economic subsidy as the main energy policy instrument?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2008. , 192 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 23
Keyword [en]
energy policy, energy, energy transition, gender, renewable energy, household, discourse, energy conversion, electrical heating, What´s the problem? approach
National Category
Social Sciences Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2533ISBN: 978-91-7668-634-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-2533DiVA: diva2:136370
Public defence
2008-11-21, Bion, Forumhuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-10-27 Created: 2008-10-27 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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