A Big Data View of the European Energy Union : Shifting from 'a Floating Signifier' to an Active Driver of Decarbonisation?

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Isoaho , K L H , Moilanen , F S & Toikka , A I 2019 , ' A Big Data View of the European Energy Union : Shifting from 'a Floating Signifier' to an Active Driver of Decarbonisation? ' , Politics and Governance , vol. 7 , no. 1 , pp. 28-44 . https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v7i1.1731

Title: A Big Data View of the European Energy Union : Shifting from 'a Floating Signifier' to an Active Driver of Decarbonisation?
Author: Isoaho, Karoliina Laila Hannele; Moilanen, Fanni Sofia; Toikka, Arho Ilmari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Social Policy
University of Helsinki, Research Units of the Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Politics and Governance
ISSN: 2183-2463
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/300698
Abstract: The Energy Union, a major energy sector reform project launched by the European Commission in 2015, has substantial clean energy and climate aims. However, scholarly caution has been raised about their feasibility, especially with regards to accommodating climate objectives with other closely related yet often competing policy goals. We therefore investigate the policy priorities of the Energy Union by performing a topic modelling analysis of over 5,000 policy documents. A big data analysis confirms that decarbonisation and energy efficiency dimensions are major building blocks in the Energy Union's agenda. Furthermore, there are signals of policy convergence in terms of climate security and climate affordability policies. However, our analysis also suggests that the Commission is not actively prescribing trajectories for renewable energy development or paying close attention to declining incumbent energy generation technologies. Overall, we find that the Energy Union is not a 'floating signifier' but rather has a clear and incrementally evolving decarbonisation agenda. Whether it further develops into an active driver of decarbonisation will largely be determined by the implementation phase of the project.
Subject: 5142 Social policy
clean energy transition
climate policy
energy efficiency
energy policy
European Commission
European Union
policy integration
renewable energy
sustainability
topic modelling
EU energy
policy
text
integration
governance
transition
package
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