Renewable Energy Policy Failure in the Philippines: A Case of Socially Embedded Selection Pressures

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The climate crisis has made readily apparent the need to decarbonize societies. The power sector in particular has been notoriously prominent in its role as a major source of emissions. The Philippines, despite being the first nation in the Southeast Asia region to enact public policy aimed towards increased renewable energy (RE) production, has failed to displace incumbent fossil-fuel sources. Solar and wind technologies have lagged considerably, representing a combined 0.3% of the country’s Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES). A qualitative analysis of the policy network revealed a social embeddedness among actors, primarily the incumbent energy developers, utilities, and government. The resulting selection pressures across the regime dimensions of political power and technology have contributed to the failure of RE policy. The study concludes with the need for protective spaces in order to realize an energy transition.