ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081


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Tatyana Lanshina, Vera Barinova 1
  • 1 RANEPA, 82 Vernadsky Avenue, Moscow, 119571, Russia

The Global Governance of Renewable Energy: International Trends and Russia

2017. Vol. 12. No. 1. P. 110–126 [issue contents]

Recent years have seen an unprecedented explosive growth of renewable energy. The demand for global governance in this sphere has also increased. Existing energy institutes proved to be unable to take lead in global governance not only in renewables, but also in the whole energy sector. Therefore, the last 10 to 15 years have been marked by attempts to solve renewable (as well as traditional) energy problems at the informal level, or within the framework of Group of Seven/Eight, the Group of 20 and the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Moreover, authoritative organizations wholly devoted to renewable energy (such as the International Renewable Energy Agency) have emerged.

This article studies the structure and trends of the modern global governance of renewable energy. The authors analyze the role and functions of traditional and new energy institutions and informal groupings, and draw parallels with global governance of the whole energy sector. They pay special attention to Russia’s participation in international renewable energy incentives.

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are applied. The article contains multiple examples of analytical research methods and a content analysis of international documents. The authors provide a quantitative analysis of Russia’s results in complying with the renewable energy commitments of informal groups.

The authors conclude that traditional international energy organizations sustain a passive position toward renewable energy. The only exclusion is the International Energy Agency, which has transformed its agenda to include renewable energy. The role of informal groups has been limited (because they have broad agendas and because they were created for other tasks than promoting renewable energy). However, their efforts have a positive influence on the harmonization and development of governance in renewable energy. The article argues that on most sensitive energy-related issues (in renewables and climate change), soft governance or governance based on aims and commitments formulated by countries themselves and not by international organizations becomes most efficient; the best results are demonstrated by new agencies dedicated to renewable energy only.

According to the authors, although Russia has taken part in all major relevant initiatives, the results of its efforts have been rather poor, except for the creation and implementation of the legal framework for renewable energy. Russia’s efforts have been mostly declarative in nature. The main reason for this poor performance is the low level of renewable energy development in Russia (except for large hydro), underpinned by the prevailing inertial development model of the energy sector and the whole economy. However, the rapid diffusion of renewable energy technologies in global markets may affect Russia’s oil and gas sectors negatively. Therefore, Russia should increase and improve its participation in global renewable energy governance in order to provide national energy and economic security in the long run.

Lanshina T., Barinova V. (2017) The Global Governance of Renewable Energy: International Trendsand Russia. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 12, no 1, pp. 110–126 (in Russian and English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2017-01-110.
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