The incentive to reduce energy consumption and/or chose more environmentally friendly sources of energy can be created by political control instruments aimed at energy suppliers and consumers. Examples of such instruments are legislation, price setting, taxes, information, campaigns and the support of technology development. Control instruments can be developed and implemented on global, EU, national and local level. The international agreements on climate developed within the framework of the UN, the convention on climate in 1992 and the Kyoto protocol from 1997, all act as important frameworks for the instruments implemented on other levels. On the national level, energy taxes have played a central role in the development of the energy system. On regional and local levels, the enforcement of the Environment Act has been of considerable importance in the introduction of renewable energy sources.
Research is being carried out on policies, control instruments and the effects of control instruments on the energy system at the Division for Environmental and Energy Systems Studies at LTH, and the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, and the departments of Political Science, Economics and Sociology at Lund University. Studies are being performed to ascertain how the flexible mechanisms introduced as a result of the Kyoto protocol can contribute to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases from energy systems, and how these mechanisms interact with other instruments. Another area of research concerns the effects of the choice of instrument on the conditions for the use of renewable energy. One area of special interest is the degree to which control instruments contribute to technical development and the dissemination of technology.
Lars J Nilsson