Towards a Systemic Approach to Energy Transformation in Algeria
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Concerns over climate and sustainable natural resources management have stimulated calls for a transformation in global energy systems. The situation is even more interesting in countries with a high level of fossil recourse endowment that have built their economy upon the development and consumption of fossil resources such as Algeria. While there is significant evidence on the government’s commitment towards facilitating a transformation to clean energy, the rate of adoption of these technologies is low due to insufficient evidence on the behavior of the country’s energy system to inform policy. This study, therefore, seeks to contribute towards filling this lacuna by applying a systems theory in analyzing Algeria’s renewable energy transformational landscape and proposing sustainable policy options to enhance a sustainable energy transformation. The study adopts a qualitative method design to understand how comprehensive the policy is in fostering the synergy between the major variables that will be identified in the study. Key-informant interviews and document reviews were the main methods of inquiry. A total of twenty energy stakeholders were interviewed and seven policy documents were purposelessly sampled. Data were analyzed using NVIVO software. Results show that Economic, social, Market and institutional drivers have been identified as very important key drivers in enhancing the energy transformations especially the deployment and development of renewable energy. Whereas Institutional, political and social barriers to energy transformation are contingent on these particular circumstances. Against these challenges, centralized planning and monopolistic power sector structure have been found as the most important barriers in dimensions of barriers to the energy transformation initiative, subsidized conventional electricity, and knowledge and coordination gap were highlighted as dominant barriers. whereas unstable policies/regulations and political skepticism were also rated as important barriers. The recent energy policy has discussed such barriers, yet the policy documents fail to explicitly outline strategies to face the overmentioned challenges in an applicable way. The study recommends the integrating of systemic reasoning planning into the central planning level of the government to enhance the sustainable energy transformation pathway of Algeria and proposes an integrated framework based on the findings toward this initiative.