This month, a paper which investigates the development of the Japanese renewable energy feed-in tariff was published in Politics & Policy. The paper, entitled “Multiple Streams and Power Sector Policy Change: Evidence from the Feed‐in Tariff Policy Process in Japan” was a joint research project between Kyoto University and Kyushu University, led by Dr Yugo Tanaka from Kyoto University.
Abstract: Sustainability concerns have been placing public policy in the power sector under pressure to realize a radical change. However, energy policy is often subject to strong path dependency and inertia that make such change difficult. This study contributes to the theoretical understanding of the conditions under which radical policy changes happen in the power sector, based on the Multiple Streams Approach. Through a case study of the Feed‐in Tariff program for increasing renewable energy deployment in Japan, it is elucidated that the elevation of the generous program, which is fundamentally incompatible to previous policy processes, was a result of the intersection of problem, policy, and politics streams. The findings provide strong evidence to support our claim that political parties embrace a policy proposal that is not necessarily “softened” within the policy network when an existing policy community itself is perceived as a problem.