Performing market models – re-performing society
Peter Karnøe, from the Department of Planning and Development, Aalborg University, will give a talk on competing electricity market designs and implications for governance and agency at the TIK Centre on December 14th.
Electricity systems are seldom coherent and smoothly performing entities. Their system building activities stem from assembling heterogeneous entities, and tends to be rife with endogenous contradiction and exogenous tensions.
The Danish energy system transition is, like other countries linked to the Nordpool electricity market, faced with a problematic situation of ‘missing money for investments’ due to issues of overcapacity, subsidy schemes, low carbon prices and merit-order effects, while needing the investments to decarbonize the energy system, to meet the political goal of making a low-carbon society by 2050. The prices made from the current electricity market designs can make a competitive allocation of electricity generation, but they are surprisingly inadequate in securing prices for the necessary investments in capacity and decarbonization (plus storage, energy savings, sector integration and electrification, etc.).
Strangely, the new collective problems are linked to the reforms making the markets, and the decarbonization reforms linked to climate change policies. The decarbonization reforms subsidized wind power and the zero-marginal cost technologies created the merit-order effect that lowered the electricity prices. And now the electricity markets must be reformed in order to serve the new technology mix and make prices that are also incentivizing investments.
This talk argues that electricity market arrangements must be seen as always incomplete and partial governance instruments, that renders some tensions and contradictions visible and governable while ignoring others. With this in mind different electricity market models are discussed in relation to their wider implications for generating concerns and policy objects for electricity and energy system governance.
About the speaker
Peter Karnøe is professor in Innovation and Sustainable development at Aalborg University, Department of Planning and Development, and is associated with the research Center Design, Innovation, and Sustainable Transition (DIST). He has worked with actor-based approaches to National Business and Innovation Systems and later Science, Technology, and Innovation studies. He has recently extended with Market and Valuation Studies and fostered the concept ‘valuation frame’ to study the co-creation of markets for renewable energy and clean-tech.
Theoretically he takes a relational socio-technical view on the processes involved in transforming technological systems through the re-making of agencies and their arrangements. He has fostered concepts like ‘Distributed Innovation through bricolage or breakthrough’, ‘Path Creation (versus Path Dependency thinking)’, ‘hospitable versus hostile technical environments for integrating fluctuating electricity’.
His current research is on the ‘Innovative re-making of Markets for a wind power dominated renewable energy system’, which takes a performativity and interventionist approach to the re-construction of technologies, markets and actors.
To register for the seminar, please send us an e-mail with the title "Seminar Karnø".