Without some form of regulation, conventional, fossil-based technologies will not be replaced by clean and efficient alternatives. Without robust steering by government, there is insufficient motivation for citizens and industry to adopt clean and efficient technologies, for society is by no means ‘self-regulating’ when it comes to these issues. There are only a handful of people and companies that are truly changing their behaviour in the light of global climate change. Some do so for altruistic reasons, others to serve a niche market, or a combination of the two. But all in all it is far too little for the climate issue to be resolved through self-regulation alone.
In this essay CE Delft director Frans Rooijers analyses Dutch government policy over the past twenty years and concludes that without well-targeted government regulation the transition from a fossil-fuelled to renewables-driven society will be hard to accomplish.