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Dr. Scott Valentine's new book, Wind Power Politics and Policy
Dr Scott Valentine’s new book, Wind Power Politics and Policy is coming out with Oxford University Press. In this book, Dr. Valentine looks at a conundrum face by the wind power development policy community. On the one hand, as the most commercially viable form of utility-scale renewable energy, the wind power industry has experienced in excess of ten-fold growth in total installed capacity over the past decade. On the other hand, installed wind power capacity still accounts for less than 2% of global electricity-generation capacity, despite the prevalence of studies indicating that, in certain situations, wind power can be a cheaper form of electricity than most fossil fuel alternatives. Accordingly, the most puzzling aspect of wind power development policy can be summed up in the following manner: given the global imperative to facilitate an expedient transition away from CO2-intensive energy technologies and the commercial viability of wind power, what is stopping the wind power industry from capturing higher market shares around the world?

In Wind Power Politics and Policy, Scott Valentine examines this question from two angles. First, it presents an analysis of social, technical, economic and political (STEP) barriers which research shows tends to stymie wind power development. Case studies which examine phlegmatic wind power development in Japan, Taiwan, Australia and Canada are presented in order to demonstrate to the reader how these barriers manifest themselves in practice. Second, the book presents an analysis of STEP catalysts which have been linked to successful growth of wind power capacity in select nations. Four more case studies that examine the successful development of wind power in Denmark, Germany, the USA and China are put forth as practical examples of how supportive factors conflate to produce conditions that are conducive to growth of wind power markets. By examining its impediments and catalysts, the book will provide policymakers with insight into the types of factors that must be effectively managed in order to maximize wind power development.

Oxford University Press link

Amazon.com link

Advance Praise for the Book

Professor Marilyn Brown
School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, Author of "Climate Change and Global Energy Security: Technology and Policy Options", 2007 Nobel Laureate

The book describes a dilemma wrapped in a paradox. The paradox is that the world needs to decarbonize its electricity sector, yet clean and competitive wind power is struggling. That creates the dilemma: will the world embrace the opportunity to generate carbon-free electricity and address the changing climate or will it continue on its unsustainable path forward? Scott Valentine's book explains the electricity resource choices made by six influential nations (the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, Denmark and Canada). The history of wind power development in these nations is explained through a Political SET (social, environment, technological) framework which provides comprehensive insight into forces that either enable or bar wind power development. This book provides a clear idea of what must be managed in order for wind power development to meet its potential in a timely manner.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani
Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, former President of the UN Security Council, Author of "The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World."

Climate change can no longer be denied. Humanity has to act quickly and decisively to deal with it and mitigate its impact. We have to give up our addiction to fossil fuel and find alternative power sources. Surprisingly, little attention has been paid to wind power as a viable alternative. Scott Valentine's book therefore could not be more timely and more relevant for a planet in peril. He explains lucidly how wind power can give us new hope.

Professor Michael Howlett
Chair Professor, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University, Author of "Designing Public Policy: Principles and Instruments"

If you must choose only one book to help understand the dynamics and potential of wind power in the contemporary energy mix, this is it. Valentine provides a succinct overview of the technologies and issues facing the sector and detailed cases studies of countries such as Germany, Denmark Canada, Japan, China and the United States which show the factors and variables which have resulted in some of these countries being world leaders in wind power and others laggards. This is a first class work, engaging and readable yet detailed and sophisticated in its approach and findings.

Professor Frank Fischer
Professor, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University, Author of "Reframing Public Policy: Discursive Politics and Deliberative Practices"

As the climate change crisis makes clear, the transition to clean energy is the challenge of this century. An important component of a renewal energy mix will be wind power. But there is nothing certain about this development. This book helps us sort out the complex issues associated with this important source of renewable energy. I highly recommend it.