Overcoming institutional barriers of energy transitions: policy legacies and greening policies in Argentina and Chile (2000-2020)
I analyze greening reforms of the electricity sector in Argentina and Chile, exploring instances of success and failure. The two countries adopted initial policies to promote solar and wind energies during the first decade of the 2000s, and second wave of policies during the second decade of the 2000s. Yet, only the latter proved to be efficient in promoting the takeoff of solar and wind sources. By using archive data and interviews to stakeholders, I explain how previous sector structures created different institutional barriers that hindered an effective electricity transition. Successful greening policies, therefore, needed broader institutional changes of the electricity sectors. I corroborate this argument by employing synthetic control methods. I show that indeed only broad greening policies; effectively led to a significant penetration of renewable energies. This research shows that institutional legacies need to be considered when designing strategies to decarbonize their energy system.