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Charlotta Söderberg
Luleå University of Technology
Vol. 3 No. 2 (2014), Articles, pages 119-137
Submitted: Sep 24, 2018 Published: Dec 30, 2014
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What are the sub-national implications, in policy and practice, of environmental policy integration (EPI) in EU and Swedish bioenergy policy? Focusing on the exceptional bioenergy expansion within the Biofuel Region in north Sweden, this paper discusses cross-level implications of supranational and national policy decisions on bioenergy; whether environmental perspectives are observable also in sub-national bioenergy discussions; and explores the drivers of sub-national bioenergy development in a multi-level governance setting. The study finds that higher-level EPI plays an important role for sub-national bioenergy development. The degree of sub-national EPI in bioenergy and the type of renewables invested in is to a large extent set by top-down influence from the EU and national level through agenda setting, policy goals and economic mechanisms. Local policy entrepreneurs play an important role for finding ‘win-win’-solutions that can help initiating local energy projects and ensure sub-national EPI, but environmental-economic – rather than merely economic – motives for getting involved are important to ensure long-term local commitment to renewable energy projects.

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