Constructing Viking Link: How the Infopower of Cost-benefit Analysis as a Calculative Device Reinforces the Energopower of Transmission Infrastructure

Kirsten Hasberg

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper sheds light on the performativity of economics in the decision-making process behind Viking Link, a Danish-British interconnector under construction. It shows how energopower, that is, the political power inherent to energy infrastructures, is reinforced through the workings of cost-benefit analysis as prescribed by the Danish Ministry of Finance. In doing so, the paper offers a novel approach to the performativity of calculative devices, highlighting the role of infopower, a Foucauldian neologism denoting the power inherent to information structures. Calculative devices are understood as information infrastructures that exert power through the work of data formatting. The cost-benefit analysis, as such a calculative device, limits the potential valuations of Viking Link and hence restricts decision-making. This has impactful consequences, as the infopower of mainstream economic thinking makes it possible to disregard relevant aspects of Viking Link, like alternative ways of integrating fluctuating renewable energy, as well as the incidence of risk of the interconnector project.
Original languageEnglish
JournalŒconomia ­­– History / Methodology / Philosophy
Volume10
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)555-578
Number of pages25
ISSN2269-8450
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • cost-benefit analysis
  • calculative devices
  • thought collective
  • infrastructure
  • interconnector
  • transmission
  • Viking Link
  • energopower
  • infopower
  • regulatory capture
  • state-owned multinationals
  • natural monopoly

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