Santiago Cunial, Ph.D. Candidate (5th year), Political Science: “Greening the grid under sectoral reforms: the political economy of solar and wind energies in Argentina and Chile”


Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 12:00pm

Hybrid Event:

473 McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk
RSVP In-Person, here.
Lunch will be served.

RSVP Zoom, here.

In Latin America, large private investments in solar and wind energies followed power sector reforms that altered the winners and losers of each sector. When do governments adopt greening policies that re-regulate electricity sectors? I study the deployment of clean energies in Argentina and Chile through a process-tracing analysis based on archive data and interviews with stakeholders. In Argentina, greening policies deregulated a government-captured sector and affected consumers. In Chile, greening policies deconcentrated a firm-captured sector and harmed incumbent utility companies. I argue that incumbent ideology, party constituencies, and political timing explain which greening policy gets implemented and when. Leftwing governments depend on consumer constituencies and adopt green policies that harm producers; rightwing governments depend on producer constituencies and implement policies that affect consumers. Moreover, governments adopt these policies at the beginning of their administrations when they have more legitimacy and a longer time horizon to ameliorate their political costs.