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The Governance of Energy Megaprojects

Politics, Hubris and Energy Security
Benjamin K. Sovacool, Associate Professor and Christopher J. Cooper, Senior Fellow, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School, US
Based on extensive original research, this book explores the technical, social, political, and economic dimensions of four Asian energy megaprojects: a regional natural gas pipeline network in Southeast Asia, a series of hydroelectric dams on the island of Borneo, an oil pipeline linking Europe with the Caspian Sea, and a very large solar energy array in the Gobi desert.
Extent: 264 pp
Hardback Price: £83.00 Online: £74.70
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78195 253 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Regional Economics
  • Environment
  • Energy Policy and Regulation
  • Environmental Governance and Regulation
Based on extensive original research, this book explores the technical, social, political, and economic dimensions of four Asian energy megaprojects: a regional natural gas pipeline network in Southeast Asia, a series of hydroelectric dams on the island of Borneo, an oil pipeline linking Europe with the Caspian Sea, and a very large solar energy array in the Gobi desert.

This book investigates why energy megaprojects fail to deliver their promised benefits. It offers the first comprehensive assessment of the complicated dynamics driving – and constraining – megaprojects initiated in the rapid scramble for energy resources and efforts to improve energy security. The authors approach the assessment of megaprojects from a socio-technical angle, emphasizing broad issues of political leadership, regulation, financing, interest group opposition and environmental impact, as well as conventional technological factors such as engineering design and project management.

The Governance of Energy Megaprojects will prove insightful for academics concerned about energy policy, energy security, environmental impact and technology assessment. But the book should prove equally compelling to those engaged in the practical management and implementation of large-scale energy projects anywhere in the world.
‘Benjamin Sovacool and Christopher Jon Cooper have produced an astonishing and well-written book, based on extensive original research in twelve countries. They explore the technical, social, political and economic dimensions of four energy megaprojects. The large scale of megaprojects always appears to complicate the decision-making process and often causes failures. Megaprojects may even reinforce corruption and erode democracy. It highlights that today’s experiences can be explained by statements by Aristotle and Einstein who argue, both in their own way, that it is always wise to take the limits of size into account and to reduce the size of projects, wherever this is possible. For everybody involved in megaprojects, this book must be read!’
– Hugo Priemus, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Understanding Why Energy Megaprojects Fail 3. The Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Network (TAGP) 4. The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Pipeline 5. The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) 6. The Gobitec Solar Array 7. Conclusions – Bigger is Blunder Index