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The effects of Environmental Policy Integration on wind energy policy- a comparative case study of Ireland and Denmark

Colm Diamond*

Abstract

Ireland is experiencing both European and economic pressures to exploit its wind potential. This blend of need and opportunity necessitate a look at the various policy approaches that can help achieve the Government’s aim. Integration is regarded as a useful method to increase both efficiency and service. While, the principle of environmental policy integration (EPI) is borne from this literature, it differs in its primary goals. This article attempts to look at this broadly based concept on a micro level by analysing its impact when applied to a specific technology. It concludes that an increase in the degree of EPI has a positive effect on wind energy policy as measured by installed capacity.

Since the principle of Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) was introduced in the Brundtland report it has become popular with both academia and international policy organisations as a method of ensuring environmental consciousness while also achieving efficiency of administration. This article will attempt to examine the usefulness of this theory on a specific application. It will address the question: How does the extent of EPI impact on domestic wind energy policy? It takes the form of a comparative case study of two countries, Denmark and Ireland. This allows the Irish case study to be placed against a world leader in wind energy that experiences similar influencing pressures and variables.

The integration of both decision making and priorities has been described as the ‘holy grail’ of public administration (Peters, 1998). It has led to different attempts at horizontal, rather than linear decision making process. Pollitt (2003) identifies four underlying goals of horizontal government: efficiency of resources; removal of contradictions between activities; to pool knowledge and ideas; and to provide a better service to the citizen. However, as Peters (1998) acknowledges, the degrees, purpose, and desirability of integration varies. He also points out that although many strategies to achieve integration have been attempted, “no mechanism is sufficient if there is an absence of will” (ibid, p. 52).

Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) has been defined as, “(the) inclusion of environmental concerns in processes and decisions of public policy making that are predominantly charged with issues other than the environment” (Hertin & Berkhout, 2003, p. 40). Although this specific wording is not always referred to; the constructs of this statement are consistent in definitions of EPI. There is consensus that the defining characteristic of EPI is the prioritisation of environmental concern allied to an inter-sectoral approach. EPI developed from general integration literature and contains many of the same rationale/benefits of implementation (Persson, 2004). Yet, there is a normative core justification for EPI that is fundamentally different from general integration motivations. This is a result of the special nature of environmental concerns. Lafferty and Hovden (2003, p. 1) state, “This entails a fundamental recognition that the environmental sector alone will not be able to secure environmental objectives”. This interdependence creates the requirement for a holistic approach; rather than the simple desirability that general integration literature expresses. The need for an integrated approach to environmental policy is at the root of EPI’s development. It has led to the concept being advocated at UN, EU, and national level.

The discourse on EPI has no agreement on a method of analysis. Persson distinguishes between two concepts of EPI: normative or rational (Persson, 2004). The difference between a normative or rational conceptualisation of EPI pivots on a question of priority. EPI as a normative concept demands that a ‘principled priority’ is given to environmental concerns. Lafferty and Hovden (2003) see this principled priority as essential in their framework for the analysis of EPI. This creates a shift of responsibility towards non-environmental agencies/actors; creating an environmental ‘bias’ in the decision making structures of organisations (Lafferty & Hovden, 2003). This creates a framework in which EPI either exists, or does not exist, pivoting on the weight given to environmental concerns in an organisation’s decision making (Persson, 2004). A more rational conceptualization exists if the degree of EPI can be considered. Persson (ibid) believes that this consideration of scale is appropriate for EPI analysis because it allows a more flexible and realistic view of integration. The approach means that an analysis of EPI must establish two questions. First, it judges whether integration of environmental policy exists at all. Secondly, it considers the strength of the integration. Whilst the normative concept provides an admirable target for EPI application, the flexibility of the rational approach lends itself to research by allowing analysis on a scale of integration, from minimal to maximal. Liberatore (1997) provides a useful table to measure the relative integration of a policy (see Table 1). It weighs the prioritisation of a policy by distinguishing between integration and dilution. She states:

The concept of integration assumes a form of reciprocity. It presupposes that the different components have similar importance and weight. If one of the components is much weaker, it is likely to be diluted into, rather than integrated with, the others- (Liberatore, 1997, p. 118)

Liberatore’s contribution is helpful in providing a consistent weighted system of measurement. Still, the specifics of the research area must be applied.

Table 1. Indicators of Integration (Liberatore, 1997, p. 120)

Integration Indicator

Integration between X and Y

Dilution of X in Y

No relation between X and Y

EIA

Frequent,in-depth, ex-ante

Occasional, superficial, ex-postfacto

No EIA

Consultations

Frequent, ‘co-decision’

Occasional, symbolic

No consultation

Compatibility of Legislation

Systematically assessed

Occasional, Symbolic

No consultation

Performance Evaluation

Systematically includes

Occasionally includes

Does not include

Funding

Substantial

Marginal

No funding

This research question diverges from much of the general theorising on EPI. Most frameworks that have been presented revolve around prioritising environmental concerns when performing normal departmental activities (Hertin & Berkhout, 2003; Lafferty & Hovden, 2003; Nilsson & Persson, 2003). Yet, this research question looks at prioritizing a particular environmentally beneficial goal i.e. wind energy establishment. In other words, it is not a case of just limiting environmental impact of a certain agency’s actions but rather utilising the powers that various sectors have in order to accommodate a specific environmental technology’s needs.

Reddy and Painuly’s (2004) identified three key areas: economic and financial; technical barriers; and awareness and information. Economic barriers revolve around high capital entry costs and established (often monopolistic) competition. Enzenberg, Wietschel, and Rentz (2002, p. 793) state, “most renewable energy technologies still face significant capital cost disadvantages in comparison with more conventional fossil-fuelled power plant technologies”. The remedy is to be found in altering costs between the groups. Support can take a traditional legislative manner such as tax incentives. These economic incentives are rationalised by the polluter pays principle which states that the body producing pollution should be responsible for its cost (UN, 1992). The EWEA employ this to claim that extra health and pollution costs (created by traditional forms of energy relative to renewables) create an externality which should be taken into account when considering support (EWEA, 2008). Conversely, economic support mechanisms have been criticised as inappropriate in open market situations (Espey, 2001). This has led to attempts to encourage demand, rather than provide supply side support such as offering consumers ‘green energy’ at a higher price (Espey, 2001; Enzensberger, Wietschel, & Rentz, 2002).

Technical barriers are the next area identified as an obstruction to wind energy. Although research and development, costs of equipment, and technical training have all been mentioned; grid connectivity, as the critical issue, is recurrent in the literature (EWEA Working Group on Grid Code Requirements, 2008; Painuly, 2001; Reddy & Painuly, 2004). The EWEA states, “The way Grid Code requirements in Europe have been developed historically has resulted in gross inefficiencies for manufacturers and developers” (EWEA Working Group on Grid Code Requirements, 2008, p. 3). The ‘grid code’ is a term used to describe the total set of codes, rules, and laws which create the technical requirements for parties to connect to public electricity systems. Connection to the grid is essential for wind energy as it is the only way the power produced can reach the market.

The final major area of concern to wind energy success is awareness and acceptance of wind power by the public. Although there are various reasons why public acceptance is important, the main barrier it presents is the complexity of local physical land use planning (Gipe, 1995; Wolsink, 2000; Wolsink, 2007). Gipe (1995, p. 321) states “opposition by some in the community is normal”. A Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) attitude has been cited as a reason for the widespread acceptance of wind energy, but local opposition to wind farms (ibid). However, Wolsink (2000) claims that the NIMBY argument is both simplistic and overemphasised. He claims that the attitude often comes from opposition to a top-down process, with lack of pre-consultation, rather than an overwhelming opposition to wind farms themselves: “Bad communication can always lead to problems, but the key question is always why there is bad communication. It is mostly caused by the way decision making is framed” (Wolsink, 2007, p. 1204). Gipe (1995) also sees collaboration as the key to overcoming public reluctance and achieving the necessary planning objectives for wind farms.

By looking at the literature three common areas are identified as expected obstacles: economic and financial; technical; and public awareness and acceptance. Within these categories, certain issues gain more importance: economic incentives, grid connection, and land use planning. These can be taken as three variables to be examined for integration in the case studies. Although the areas are still somewhat broad, an analysis of each country will present the more precise challenges that each country faces within the categories; depending on the different instruments used. However, the specific problems are not as important as the broader tactic. The attempt to solve issues using a particular approach i.e. EPI, is the focus; not the relative advantages or success of specific techniques.

Case Study One: IrelandToC

Ireland’s first wind energy targets were laid out in the 1996 policy document Renewable Energy: A strategy for the future. This was an introductory document, but with regard to identifying barriers and introducing integration, there are two key policy papers that followed: Green Paper on Sustainable Energy and The Strategy for Intensifying Wind Energy Deployment (Department of Public Enterprise, 1999; Renewable Energy Strategy Group, 2000). The green paper recognised that there were economic, technical, and public acceptance barriers to the development of wind industry (Department of Public Enterprise, 1999). Its focus was on economic incentives which it justified because of two market failures in the Irish energy industry; monopoly and negative externalities (Department of Public Enterprise, 1999). Its major contribution to the technical and planning issues was the setting up of the Renewable Energy Strategy Group. This group produced a report in 2000 entitled ‘Strategy for Intensifying Wind Energy Deployment’. The report explicitly stated that integration was vital to any successful policy (Renewable Energy Strategy Group, 2000). In particular they saw the integration of planning and grid connection as essential. Since then, Ireland has produced several different policy papers which have had important and influential effects on wind policy. The three barriers, and the need for integration, are dominant and recurring themes throughout (Irish and British Government, 2004; Department of Communication, Marine and Natural Resources, 2007; Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2007; Irish Gov. White Paper, 2007).

There are two main actors in the economic aspects of Irish wind policy: Government and the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). The Government has influence on economic aspects of policy through legislation, incentive schemes, and provision of resources. The Alternative Energy Requirement (AER) scheme was the primary government incentive scheme for renewable energy sources. There have been six versions of AER in total with starting dates between 1996 and 2005 (Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, 2005). Based around the competitive driver of energy policy, it failed to deliver energy targets until the 4th and 5th schemes. Coveney (2009) states, “(AER) didn’t work... in an attempt to actually get contracts everybody bid in at such a low price that they could never build and actually operate under those prices”. Although the schemes did offer incentives to renewable energy by providing certainty to successful developers, they did not prioritise wind specifically, but based selection solely on cost (Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, 2005).

The Electricity Regulation Act, 1999, is the most significant piece of legislation for the energy industry in Ireland as it allows deregulation of the energy market. There are two competing elements to the act in relation to EPI: the creation of CER and the policy direction requirement. CER was set up by the Act as regulator for the electricity and gas market in Ireland. The main impact on economic barriers to wind policy comes from its responsibility for the Transmission and Settlement Code. This creates the rules for the market system in which wind energy operates (CER, 2009b). CER was formed with a specific role for renewable energy. However, the timeline for creating a regulatory system, and the competitive mandate of the CER conflicted with the needs of renewables (Renewable Energy Strategy Group, 2000). Also, the Act’s renewable role for CER contained in Section 9.3 is subservient to Section 9.1a. This states that the code’s regulations should be pursuant to the policy statement by the Minister. Yet, this policy statement had no mention of renewables and revolved solely around competition in the industry (Minister for Public Enterprise, 2003). The market system set up under the original rules of the Transmission and Settlement Code created two economic incentives for renewable energy. Renewable energy was given license to 100% of the market until 2005 (which compared with 80% of brown energy) which allowed for direct selling of green energy. Additionally, they were given priority (first tier) top/spill prices which lowered their costs (CER, 2009b). However, technical problems sorrounding grid connection prevented wind from taking full advantage of these incentives. Also, the competitive nature of the market was a disincentive to wind investors. The continued dominance of traditional energy suppliers in the market system was blamed on CER’s system by wind producers (Dr. O'Connor, 2004).

The national grid is the electricity infrastructure that allows energy to flow from power generators throughout the country. Ireland’s national grid is owned by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), a semi-state body. The grid is managed by the state owned independent operator Eirgrid which was established as a result of the 1999 Act and was issued a license to operate in 2001. However, it only took over control of the grid in 2006 (Eirgrid, 2009). Previously ESB’s involvement in the national grid was criticised by wind industry because it was also the dominant competitor in the energy market. Meitheal na Gaoithe (2004), an organisation that represents small to medium wind developers, stated “ESB in its many forms and through its influence on policy is the most significant obstacle to the development of the independent energy sector in this country”. The grid connection moratorium imposed by the ESB on wind energy in 2003-2004 was claimed to be an example of its ‘negative attitude’ towards wind (MnaG, 2004). Representatives of the ESB responded by claiming that technical and security issues were the reason for wind industry difficulties (O'Brien, 2004). A joint Oireachtas committee stated that the ESB was indeed reluctant to accommodate wind industry; and that there was deliberate administrative inertia in shifting responsibility for the grid to Eirgrid (Ryan, 2005). Eirgrid’s role as the independent manager of the ESB owned grid has made a significant difference to Irish wind industry. Its major contribution to date is the planned €4billion grid infrastructure development GRID25. Communication with wind industry was sought and it has prioritised the needs of renewables in the resulting strategy. Wind energy is envisaged as the main contributor in the renewable category (Eirgrid, 2008). The response from Eirgrid has been welcomed by wind industry (Walsh, 2008). The 2001 transfer of grid management combined with Government pressure has led the ESB to become more facilitating towards wind industry in recent years and has seen a prioritisation of its own renewable energy programme (Coveney, 2009; Walsh, 2008).

Planning in Ireland has been the least significant barrier of the three identified (Renewable Energy Strategy Group, 2000). There are two issues involved in land use planning with regard to wind policy: planning for wind farms and planning for grid infrastructure. Land use planning in Ireland is dependent on three separate bodies: Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; local authorities and An Bord Pleanala (ABP). The Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government has the leading role to play because it creates national policy. Although this responsibility excludes specific decision making, it significantly influences the decisions of others. The Department produced two Wind Industry Development Guidelines for planning authorities (1996; 2006). These guidelines are not legally binding but have two important functions: they influence local authorities in their development plan creations and can be drawn on by ABP in their role as the planning system’s appellant body. Initial planning applications must be made to the Local Authority who will make a decision based on their local development plan. If rejected, the applicant can appeal to ABP. Although both of these bodies have a role to play in granting or refusing planning permission, their power and independence is diminished because of national legislation produced in 2000 and 2006. The Planning and Development Act, 2000 Section 28 requires that both local authorities and ABP have regard to national policy in relation to their functions. This enshrined the department’s influence in law. The Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure Act) 2006 allows for large scale wind farm developments to skip the local authority application stage and apply directly to ABP. Because ABP makes decisions based on national policy it further facilitated wind development applications. The priority of national policy in the planning process and the clear direction provided by the Department has made planning a relatively small issue in regards to wind farm development. Dr. O’Connor (2004) states, “Planning is not the most difficult issue for wind developers in Ireland... it is much easier to get planning permission in Ireland than elsewhere”. Grid infrastructural development is another key aspect to wind energy. With recent construction beginning on grid infrastructure, planning has become a problem for Eirgrid (Coveney, 2009). This will, in turn, affect wind industry in future if not effectively considered.

Case Study Two: DenmarkToC

Denmark’s first official wind targets came under the policy paper Energy 81 which created long term goals for wind energy (Tranaes, 1996). When analysing EPI in relation to Danish energy policy, there are two key policy documents: Energy 2000 and Energy 21. Although some Government supports preceded 1990, Danish energy policy first prioritised environmental facets in Energy 2000 (Bertelsen, 1998). This introduced the principle of sustainability and reduction of CO2 as primary goals of energy policy in Denmark (Agnolucci, 2007). The document’s policy direction and commitment benefited by broad political agreement across the party spectrum (DEA, 2009a). The following energy policy paper Energy 21, produced in 1996, is important to EPI analysis because of the specificity it included, and the impact it had in shaping the wind industry. It continued in the general themes of Energy 2000 but introduced more ambitious and specific targets for renewables. It established renewable energy specifically as a primary goal, and considered green tax reform as a ‘fundamental principle’ of policy (Ministry for Environment and Energy, 1996). In addition to supporting sustainable energy, it focused particularly on energy efficiency (Ministry for Environment and Energy, 1996). Although, this does not directly affect integration and prioritisation of wind policy, it shows a commitment to the broader definition of EPI.

Economic incentives have had the greatest impact, and the greatest variation, of the three factors being analysed. There are two actors involved in creating the economic environment under which wind industry operates in Denmark: the Danish Government and the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority (DERA). The Government is the dominant actor. Through legislation, and policy, they create the regulatory framework and direction for the market participants. Enforcement, supervision of regulation and some price setting potential, is the official responsibility of the independent body, DERA (DERA, 2002).

There have been two key policy outputs produced by Government that influenced wind development: The Law for Wind Turbines 1992 and the Energy Supply Act 1999. Previous to 1992, supply price for wind generated electricity was fixed at 75% of market price. It was the results of a 10 year voluntary agreement between the Danish utility agencies (DEF) and representatives of wind industry which was agreed in 1984 under threat of legislative intervention (Agnolucci, 2007). As uncertainty rose towards the end of the 10 year agreement, disagreements began to re-emerge (Tranaes, 1996). The Law for Wind Turbines 1992, re-established economic certainty with the introduction of two key features: a feed-in tariff and tax incentives. The feed-in tariff provided a guaranteed price for wind energy producers while tax incentives encouraged both research and investment (Krohn, 2002). The tariff created a ‘pseudo market’ for wind energy; where price was set by government but quantity was set by the market (Krohn, 2001). The wind industry saw these measures as internalising the extra costs incurred by setting up of renewable industry (Krohn, 2002). However, the energy suppliers reacted negatively. It was claimed that the aggregate of the market was being charged to support the individuals of wind industry (Tranaes, 1996). The fixed price system was very successful in encouraging wind installation and it experienced continuous growth (DWTMA, 2000).

The Energy Supply Act, 1999 opened up the energy market to competition, also setting up DERA as the regulatory body. The economics changed for wind industry because of the Act’s commitment to a new ‘Green Certificate Market’. This involved the trading of green certificates in conjunction with specified quotas to ensure supply (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 1999). In effect, this would change the system to a market set price, and state set quantity (Krohn, 2002). The Minister of the Environment and Energy (2001) stated that the aim was to increase efficiency. Wind industry representatives campaigned vigorously and successfully against the changes (DWIA, 2002). Disagreement was based on a perceived lack of economic analysis of the implementation, rather than opposition to the mechanism (DWTMA, 2001).The domestic onshore wind market also reacted negatively to the uncertainty as it experienced its first stagnant year in 1999. The policy turmoil was ended with a new political agreement in 2004 which again was a result of cross party support. It emphasised long term pricing agreements and a less complex structure than the green certificate market (Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, 2004).

DERA was also set up in the 1999 Act. Their main task is regulating the monopoly industries in the grid, electricity and gas market (DERA, 2002). However, they are mainly a supervisory and reactive body which are submissive to legally set prices and framework for competition (DERA, 2002). DERA have some price setting powers, however with regard to wind energy it is already detailed in legislation (DEA, 2009a). The regulatory body’s limitations reveal the central control of the Danish legislature in economic aspects of wind policy. Although they have no specific renewable energy promotion mandate, the nature of their work, in supervising monopolies and ensuring regulation, enhances the certainty of renewable energy investors.

While the Government has remained a constant and key actor of grid connection in the Danish case, the owners and operators of the grid have altered. The Danish electricity grid is currently owned and controlled by the independent, but state owned, body Energinet (Energinet, 2009). However, previous to their establishment in 2005, it was owned and operated by several state owned utility agencies: Eltra, Elkraft System, Elkraft Transmission and Gastra (Energinet, 2009). These utilities set up the Danish Association of Utilities (DEF) in 1920 in order to represent their interests to the state (Vleutena & Raven, 2006). The DEF were responsible for the grid while also being the monopoly energy supplier in Denmark. Meyers (2007, p. 351) states that there were “(...) a number of disagreements between utilities and wind power producers over conditions for grid connections and tariffs”. On two separate occasions the DEF was accused of unfair charges in court by wind industry representatives and lost (Tranaes, 1996). Despite various ‘institutionalised quarrels’, the issue of grid connection was solved in the 1984 voluntary agreement between utilities and wind (Vleutena & Raven, 2006). This agreement (brokered under threat of legislative intervention) created certainty of connection (Tranaes, 1996). Yet, disagreements on grid connection issues began to resurface in the 1990’s (Agnolucci, 2007).

The Government’s key policy outputs were in influencing the voluntary agreement of 1984 and in restating key aspects in the Law for Wind Turbines, 1992. The legislation did several important things. It made legislation that forced electricity companies to accept renewable energy onto the grid. Also, it stated that grid reinforcement costs (to accommodate wind power) were to be met by the electricity companies; whilst the connection costs would be met by wind industry (Agnolucci, 2007). This guaranteed grid connection to the wind power producers in law that created “(...) a watershed year for wind” (Tranaes, 1996, p. 8). The Act on Energinet Danmark, 2004 created Energinet with responsibility and ownership of the grid. It created a specific role for the promotion of renewable energy in Energinet’s functions (Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, 2004). As regards to future development, the Act states that expansion of the grid must be done to incorporate renewable energy. Therefore, between the 1992 and 2004 legislation, grid connection certainty for wind power is backed up not only by policy of the owner/operator but by legislative accord.

Denmark’s land-use planning is controlled by two levels of Government; national and municipal (Ministry of the Environment, 2009a). Planning decisions and regional spatial plans are a function of the municipal level. At national level, the Government creates national policy direction and has directive/veto power over local level plans.

Planning issues surrounding wind development on a local level vary between regions. There existed general large scale support for wind power in Denmark; however, NIMBY attitudes have been reported by wind industry (Damborg, 2002). Planning and public acceptance was helped by the large numbers of locally owned turbines (Meyers, 2007). However, local level planning became a more difficult issue as the industry developed; with many local authorities holding up applications. The 1999 repower scheme suffered as Local authorities resisted many planning apps for new turbines and replacement of old turbines (DWIA, 2002). National level pressure on local governments was successful in reversing the trend, although the 2003 deadline had to be extended (DWIA, 2004). The growing reluctance of local governments towards onshore wind development also created a ‘bottleneck’ in the Governments next repower scheme, which was introduced in the 2004 energy policy agreement (DWIA, 2005). The problem was addressed through intervention by the Ministry of the Environment, who held regular meetings between wind industry and local planning authorities (DWIA, 2005). The planning system underwent legislative change in 2006 with a general regional restructuring programme; it has led to the Ministry of the Environment having a more influential and regular communicative role with local authorities on planning issues (Ministry of the Environment, 2006; Ministry of the Environment, 2009b). In addition, the Ministry of the Environment has ongoing dialogue with members of the wind industry (Ministry of the Environment, 2009b)

Conclusions ToC

The development of the major renewable energy source in both countries, wind energy, shows a discrepancy that defies their similarities. Wind was responsible for 6.7% of Irish gross electrical consumption in 2007 (SEI, 2008). This compares with Denmark, which supplied 19.7% of its energy requirements from wind power in 2007 (DEA, 2008). The installed capacity of Denmark has expanded continuously at a rapid rate whereas Ireland’s growth has been continuous but slow. However, recent trends show that Ireland’s growth rate in installed capacity has overtaken Denmark’s (see table 2). Because there is divergence in the starting capacity of the two countries, an analysis of their targets can place policy comparisons in context. In the Irish case there have been two policy papers with specific target dates that have passed: Renewable Energy (1996) and Green Paper on Sustainable Energy (1999). Only the green paper’s targets were met on time (SEI, 2006). The Danish have had three specific target dates that have passed since 1992; each of them have been met years in advance.

Table 3. Integration Map Ireland

Areas of Influence

Integration between X and Y

Dilution of X in Y

No relation between X and Y

Economic

Occasional, Government led integration conflicting with independent agencies

Grid Connection

Occasional, Conflicting priorities of important agencies and lack of Government intervention

Planning

Frequent integration in critical areas

Using Liberatore’s integration table, Ireland can be determined to have attempted to assimilate and prioritise wind energy across the three key areas identified (see table 3). However, repeating themes of established organisational reluctance, economic objectives, and a concern for competition resulted in the overall dilution of EPI on wind energy policy. The Irish government attempted prioritisation in both their policy objectives and their policy outputs. This effort resulted in dilution because of a lack of detailed instruction. Government led through action and influence; but left the specific application to independent bodies. This permitted slow reactions from organisations that had external pressures and internal demands conflicting with wind energy needs. EPI was more apparent when the dominant actors consisted of government departments and levels.

Conversely, the Danish case study shows that integration has been achieved in all key areas (see table 4). There is a recurring theme of strong political leadership in prioritising and integrating wind energy needs. The Danish response to problems was to allay present and future concerns by legislating on critical aspects in the economic and grid areas. In the planning area, there is consistent use of ministerial led dialogue between agencies in order to facilitate production. Although EPI is clear in the Danish example, it reflects a vertical rather than a horizontal integration. The prioritisation of wind energy concerns by the various actors in the Danish case study was obtained only after Government interference. This has created three important changes in the Danish energy landscape: new legislative framework; changed organisational structures of actors; and newly incorporated roles. This has led to a more horizontal integration between the various actors, which is more consistent with the theoretical objectives of EPI. The Irish scenario represented a more horizontal integration approach from the beginning. This implies that although a full ‘integration’ style EPI will achieve results faster, a ‘diluted’ approach can result in a similar destination. Therefore the case studies suggest that EPI can be useful in either a vertical or a horizontal manner. This reflects general integration literature more than EPI specific literature.

Table 3. Integration Map Ireland

Areas of Influence

Integration between X and Y

Dilution of X in Y

No relation between X and Y

Economic

Occasional, Government led integration conflicting with independent agencies

Grid Connection

Occasional, Conflicting priorities of important agencies and lack of Government intervention

Planning

Frequent integration in critical areas

Conclusions: Dilution of wind energy concerns into traditional economic and competitive priorities

Table 4. Integration Map Denmark

Areas of Influence

Integration between X and Y

Dilution of X in Y

No relation between X and Y

Economic

Frequent, legislative and co-operative

Grid Connection

Frequent and strong, legislative and use of ministerial pressure

Planning

Often, reliance on ongoing dialogue

Conclusions: Integration of wind energy concerns into energy policy originally through vertical integration

The case studies suggest that the extent of EPI has an influence on the relative success of domestic onshore wind energy policy. The country with the greatest extent of EPI, Denmark, was also the country with the most successful wind energy policy. It is also clear how EPI aided a more successful policy. Certain incentives and actions resulted in greater results for wind energy outputs. For example, the Danish feed-in tariffs were more successful than the Irish AER schemes. EPI integration, rather than dilution, will naturally lend itself to appropriate incentives. This is because if EPI is applied, it will prioritise environmentally beneficial policy objectives over other policy objectives. When EPI is diluted into other traditional policy rationale, such as economics or market competition; incentives will also naturally become diluted and less effective. However, certainty is the key factor that it produces, even more than the use of particular incentives or frameworks. Industry will adapt to some support mechanisms more than others but clear policy direction will ensure stability for investors. Meyers (2007, p. 360) states, “National energy policy has been the single most important parameter for the promotion of wind power”. Denmark’s willingness to intervene and their clear environmental objectives created this confidence in the market.

Three main conclusions have been made on the impact of EPI on domestic onshore wind energy. First, certain incentives will occur naturally if EPI is applied under full ‘integration’. Secondly, EPI’s most important influence on wind energy is certainty of policy. Finally, vertical integration will result in faster results than horizontal attempts because of the presence of naturally conflicting agencies. It must also be stated that although EPI can create efficiencies within one particular policy objective, this does not equate to creating general efficiencies in the market or in economic cost of implementation. This is a major difference between general integration theory, which concerns itself with a broader goal of competence; and EPI, which seeks to prioritise the effectiveness of environmental policy objectives.

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