Hydrogen /gas bias - Researchers demonstrate that electrification is being undermined by vested interests.
- Sep 15, 2020 10:44 am GMTSep 15, 2020 6:47 am GMT
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The power of incumbent actors to affect sustainability transitions is increasingly recognised as a central issue associated with systemic change. However, incumbent’s approaches and the outcome of their influence is rarely examined in academic literature. Using a novel approach which combines the lens of ‘discourse coalitions’ with an explicitly critical discursive stance, in which the coalition’s storyline is scrutinised, this interdisciplinary analysis investigates a pro-gas, incumbent led coalition present in the Great Britain (GB) energy system. In response to the threat of electrification, the coalition presents decarbonising the gas grid with replacement gases as the optimal route for heat decarbonisation. However, much analysis suggests a significant need for heat electrification and our review highlights major uncertainties with a decarbonised gas pathway. Incumbents are over-selling 'green-gas' to policy makers in order to protect their interests and detract from the importance and value of electrification. Policy and research recommendations are made.