Complexification in the Energiewende
The path toward a low-carbon economy takes three main parallel roads: the efficiency of energy conversion, the reduction of energy use and the substitution of fossil-fuels with renewable energy. This chapter will focus mainly on this latter aspect of the problem by analyzing how a transition toward renewable energy can pose a new challenge to economy and governance in terms of complexification of the system. The fate of renewable energy sources (RES) crucially depends on the power sector for electricity is still the main vector for renewable energy. The main features of the ongoing transition toward a renewable energy system are: (1) lower intensity of energy sources; (2) high efficiency of conversion; (3) temporal discontinuity; (4) free access to local and more decentralized energy sources; (5) dramatic change in the economic concept of energy scarcity; (6) new, leading role of the network. Is this process leading to a higher complexification? To answer to this question, we will analyze this energy transition in the light of the concept of complexity and sustainability by looking at the history of economic development and societal change prompted by new energy sources and new form of energy conversions. A particular emphasis will be given to the case study of Germany and recent thrust toward an energiewende. Finally, it will be advocated the need for a new market of power aimed at decoupling the sites of electricity inlet and outlet overcoming the impending limits of RES energy that curbs their development.
KeywordsEnergy Transition Renewable Energy Source Industrial Revolution Demand Side Management Outlet Point
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