April 13, 2016 –
Please join us this Wednesday for our continuing brown bag series. This week’s presentation from Jennifer Sklarew,
Senior Fellow for Energy Policy at Mason's Center for Energy Science and Policy. It is on "Shock to the System: Lessons from Japan on How Institutional Relationships Impact Energy Policymaking, Resilience, and Innovation after Disasters"
It will be from 12pm to 1 pm in Founders Hall 322, and also be available via video conference at Johnson Center 311D. For those that cannot be at either campus, it will be streamed live online at https://bluejeans.com/415144230.
External shocks do not always generate energy system transformation. Japan’s struggle with energy system change after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster offers an opportunity to study the role of institutional relationships in this phenomenon. This study examines how the Japanese government’s relationships with the electric utilities and the public affect the Fukushima disaster’s ability to catalyze energy system change. Findings reveal an initial fracturing of the government’s relationships with the electric utilities and the public, followed by a rapid return of policymaker-electric utility cooperation and a slower restoration of public trust in the government. This initial relationship breakdown promoted changes in Japanese policymaking processes and policies, but the reversion to pre-disaster relationships has slowed Japan’s energy system transition. At the same time, innovations toward energy system change at the local level are proceeding. The resilience of these new, locally driven energy systems likely will depend on cooperation between the local government, the public, the central government, and the electric utilities.