Infoscience

Conference paper

The facilitation of mini and small hydropower in Switzerland through institutional mechanisms

Within the context of the liberalisation of the electricity sector, the government’s aim to increase renewable energy sources and post-Kyoto regulation, this paper aims to identify and develop institutional mechanisms to facilitate mini and small hydropower in Switzerland. Based on the literature of coevolution between institutions and technology, and based on the coherence framework, four institutional perspectives are elaborated: Small-scale hydropower needs a technical quality label; small-scale pump-storage schemes should be explored as distributed options for energy storage; the Swiss design of CO2-credits should include hydropower; and transaction costs for small-scale projects should be reduced. In conclusion, it is primarily the institutions which must evolve further to be aligned with the mature mini and small hydropower technologies. This will lead to the development of these renewable technologies.

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