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The CEE Energy Transition: Recurring Fifty-Year-Old Dynamics?

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Part of the Energy, Climate and the Environment book series (ECE)

Abstract

EU members of Central and Eastern Europe are embarking on their second energy transition. The first was imposed by the Soviet Union and pushed these countries to reconsider the role of oil in their energy mix and substitute it with alternatives it could offer: electricity imports, natural gas, and nuclear technology. The shift was politically mediated and bureaucratically administered initially, only after which market forces played a minor, secondary role. Many of these countries have now opted to join the EU. They have become signatories of common EU climate action, but grudgingly and with reservations. There are hardly any doubts that their national climate policies would be much less ambitious and look quite differently without EU policy in place. Thus, we see a dominant external driver pushing change in the CEE, yet again. Similarly to the Soviet era, market-based measures have been overshadowed by targets and policies set by the EU. CEE countries have avoided taking excessive action, as the legacy of existing energy systems loom large. This chapter compares the two historical energy transitions imposed on CEE countries by assessing how their energy policies were shaped by external hegemons.

Keywords

  • CEE
  • Energy transition
  • Soviet Union
  • EU
  • Policy convergence
  • Hegemony

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Fig. 1

(Note EU15 full lines, CEE EU dashed lines. Source Eurostat [2019c])

Fig. 2

(Source Authors calculations based on Eurostat [2019c, e])

Fig. 3

(Source Authors calculations based on Eurostat [2019b, c])

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Correspondence to John Szabo .

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Szabo, J., Deak, A. (2021). The CEE Energy Transition: Recurring Fifty-Year-Old Dynamics?. In: Mišík, M., Oravcová, V. (eds) From Economic to Energy Transition. Energy, Climate and the Environment. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55085-1_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55085-1_3

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-55084-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-55085-1

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)