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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-82622
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2016/8262/

Solar Energy and the Problem of Path Dependency in Costa Rica’s Energy System

Solarenergie und Pfadabhängigkeit in Costa Rica Energiesystem

García Sánchez, Daniela

 Dokument 1.pdf (3.392 KB) 

Basisklassifikation: 89.50 , 43.30
Institut: Sozialwissenschaften
DDC-Sachgruppe: Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Hein, Wolfgang (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 15.12.2015
Erstellungsjahr: 2015
Publikationsdatum: 23.12.2016
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: This thesis analyzes the mechanisms driving decisions regarding energy options, in Costa Rica, towards carbon neutral and 100% renewable energy goals, through the combination of path dependency and governance approaches. Specifically, the dissertation accounts for aspects of efficiency, political power and legitimation mechanisms, analyzed from different actors’ viewpoints and in different time periods (before 1990, from 1990 to 2014 and towards 2021). As a qualitative within-case analysis, it relies on methods of institutional analysis and process tracing. The information compilation instruments included interviews, participatory observations and document analyses. Research results indicates that, in Costa Rica, path dependency plays a role in energy decisions. The historical analysis detected the presence of systemic self-reinforcing mechanisms in actors’ choices that upholds the preeminence of dams over time. In this regard, at systemic levels, the drivers that reinforced this path and, limit the progress of alternative renewable sources in policy decisions, were: a) global climate change effects, b) reliable electricity effects and c) national welfare effects; at investors’ individual level, decision drivers were: d) coordination effects, e) learning effects and f) scale economies. Those drivers, at both levels, were also enhanced by g) the empowerment of private actors, and h) the communication of national welfare. Meanwhile, contradicting forces were found in 1) the uncertainty in decisions from external climatic shocks, 2) community empowerment, and 3) communication of local welfare. These mechanisms might reverse the reproduction of the hydroelectric course, possibly creating a new path for alternative renewable sources.


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