This book explores the issue of energy poverty in post-communist Europe and shows how it is viewed and addressed through public policies.
Energy poverty is severely affecting many parts of the European Union, but up until now only a few comparative analyses have been developed to understand the phenomenon and its diversity throughout the region. Filling this gap, this volume focuses specifically on the Eastern European region, drawing on contributions that cover a wide range of countries including Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. This region has undergone significant transitions over the past three decades, but, as the contributions demonstrate, it still faces major challenges to providing clean and affordable energy to its citizens and renovating existing housing stock. The chapters explore the extent of energy poverty in each country and examine the drivers, while casting light on how policy-makers tackle the issue through a critical examination of the instruments implemented to help energy poor people.
This book will be of great interest to researchers in the fields of energy policy and comparative politics, to policy-makers in post-communist countries and EU institutions, and also to other relevant actors, such as companies and NGOs who focus on issues of energy poverty.
This book is based upon work from EU COST Action ‘European Energy Poverty: Agenda Co-Creation and Knowledge Innovation’ (ENGAGER 2017–2021, CA16232) supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology — www.cost.eu).
Table of Contents
Foreword by Stefan Bouzarovski
1. Introduction: Energy Poverty and its Drivers in Post-Communist Europe: The Visible, the Measurable and the Hidden
Part 1: Energy Poverty and Politics
2. Energy Poverty in Hungary: Trapped in Politics
Anna Zsófia Bajomi, Nóra Feldmár, and Lea Kőszeghy
3. Inconsistencies in Policy-Making as Drivers of Energy Poverty in Bulgaria
Maria Jeliazkova, Veneta Krasteva, and Douhomir Minev
4. The Role of NGOs in the Emergence of Energy Poverty as a Policy Issue in Slovenia
Lidija Živčič and Tomislav Tkalec
Part 2: Energy Poverty, Energy, and Poverty
5. Energy Poverty in a Subsistence-Like Economy: The Case of North Macedonia
6. Energy Poverty as Heating Poverty in Lithuania
7. Energy Poverty Between Energy Paradigms in Poland
Jakub Sokołowski, Damian Zelewski, Joanna Stępień, and Piotr Lewandowski
8. On How to Fix a Sturdy Energy Poverty System in Romania
Part 3: Regional Variations of Energy Poverty
9. Hidden Energy Poverty: The Case of the Czech Republic
Hedvika Koďousková and Lukáš Lehotský
10. Energy Poverty in East and West Germany: Divided We (Still) Stand?
11. Regional Disparities as Roots of Energy Poverty in Slovakia
Dusana Dokupilova and Richard Filcak
12. Conclusions: Energy Poverty as a Threat to Democracy in Post-Communist Countries
George Jiglau is Researcher and Lecturer in Political Science at the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Anca Sinea is an Energy Policy Researcher at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Ute Dubois is an Associate Professor of Economics at ISG International Business School, Paris, France.
Philipp Biermann is an Economics and Social Science Researcher at University of Magdeburg, Germany.
"This powerful and important book confirms the depth of energy poverty in post-communist Europe, with ten, detailed, country chapters. It provides an accolade to the European COST programme - and the ENGAGER project in particular – as it shows the real benefits that come from sharing knowledge and then learning from it. This, the first comprehensive review of energy poverty in post-communist Europe, will help to ensure that future policy is based on a clearer understanding - if the policy-makers want to listen. And, where politicians continue to evade the issues, we, the academics, activists and the concerned, will have a stronger basis for holding them to account. It is strongly recommended." -- Brenda Boardman, Emeritus Fellow, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, UK