Infoscience

Conference paper

Coherence between institutions and technologies - The case of mini hydropower in Switzerland

Switzerland, with the forecasted electricity gap between domestic production and demand, aims to significantly increase renewable energy sources including hydropower. Mini hydropower (below 1MW) currently has considerable unused technical potential. As a renewable energy source (RES) it can contribute to climate change mitigation. CO2-taxes or emission trading systems (ETS) for planned thermal power plants could help facilitate mini hydropower (MHP). The technology is mature, but requires adequate frameworks (e.g. regulation, streamlining of procedures, adequate financial mechanisms) to maximize its remaining potential under economically viable conditions. This paper analyzes the coherence between institutions and technologies in the case of MHP in Switzerland. It takes into account the current liberalization of the electricity market, the government's goal to increase the weight of RES and the post-Kyoto context. The analysis aims to increase the degree of coherence between the institutions and the technology. As a result the overall performance of MHP will increase. The paper contains a dynamic perspective on the infrastructure and a conclusion with recommendations for further research on the development of adequate policy shaping institutional mechanisms to facilitate MHP in Switzerland – mechanisms that could be adapted to other countries.

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