The essay on alternative energy sources should address this question:
What are the merits or otherwise of allowing a free market approach, or government intervention as the best way of increasing the use of renewable energy measures? Fully justify your answer.
Environmental policy is made in a context of both market failure and government failure.
On the one hand, leaving environmental protection to the free market, relying on notions of corporate social responsibility and altruistic consumer and shareholder preferences, will not deliver optimal results.
On the other hand, nationalizing the delivery of environmental protection is likely to fail because nation states rarely have the depth and quality of information required to instruct all the relevant agents to make appropriate decisions.
Thus, as for many areas of policy, appropriate models of environmental intervention will lie between these two extremes. While it is impossible to specify general rules concerning the precise form of intervention, in part because the type of intervention depends upon value judgments, this paper sets out some of the considerations that are particular to environmental policy, and explores several principles for policy design, including information, coordination, and principal–agent problems, with a particular focus on the international context.
This expansion and contraction of the state has significant implications for environmental policy, raising questions about the appropriate scope and role for government in protecting the environment.
This issue of the Oxford Review considers topics relevant to the realistic design of environmental policy in the context of this shifting relationship between the market and the state.
The energy sector is a fruitful case for a study of the costs and benefits of government market intervention since it has been regulated, deregulated and re-regulated for decades in almost all industrialized countries
The reliance on oil and other forms of fossil fuels became especially obvious with the skyrocketing energy prices in the 1970 s after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its production levels.