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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Institutions, discourses, and the promotion of renewable energy

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The article argues that a more rounded understanding of the factors affecting the promotion and uptake of renewable energy technologies may be obtained by bringing together neoinstitutional theory—informed by insights from institutional economics and organizational sociology—and discourse analysis. Such a discourse‐institutional view has a number of benefits: (1) institutionally, it moves analysis beyond the usual if understandable focus on the activities and policies of government; (2) institutions as norms, professional standards, culture, and ingrained habit are given due attention; (3) the language basis of institutions is duly recognized; and (4) connections among language in text, and in discursive and social practice are acknowledged, as are their role in processes of (non) institutionalization. The article summarizes the suggested approach, in doing so highlighting its relevance to the diffusion of renewable energy technologies. WIREs Energy Environ 2016, 5:119–124. doi: 10.1002/wene.169 This article is categorized under: Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy Energy Policy and Planning > Systems and Infrastructure Energy Research & Innovation > Economics and Policy
Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (%) (EU28, plus Norway, 2012). Source: Eurostat data, available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/graph.do?tab=graph&plugin=1&language=en&pcode=t2020_31&toolbox=type. Re‐use authorized by the European Commission.
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