Meet the Sustainability Transformation research group at the SDG Conference 2023 at the University of Bergen! Our session on Day Zero takes up a central theme of the Research Council of Norway funded ASSET project on Accountable Solar Energy TransitionS!
Installed solar energy capacity is accelerating at blinding speed, making it the quickest-growing energy source worldwide. Yet to succeed in displacing fossil fuels—rather than adding to them—solar sources require cognate aspects of our energy system to support their integration, alongside a commitment to reducing energy use.
Cognate aspects include energy flexibility technologies such as electronic storage (batteries), thermal storage (molten salts), mechanical storage (reverse hydro-pumping) and energy conversion (green hydrogen); sustainable land use models such as agrivoltaics (combining food and energy production), building-integrated photovoltaics (including in positive energy districts) and energy communities (including aggregation and virtual prosumption); sectoral coupling such as through transport electrification and smart grids; and proactive regulatory measures to ensure that the benefits and burdens associated with rapid solar rollouts are distributed equitably to avoid the reproduction of historical injustices.
Importantly, considerations for reduction include the advancement of institutions and movements that ensure wellbeing without elitist-consumerist growth
In this interactive workshop run in hybrid mode, we share key findings and feature eminent invited speaker Zoi Siamanta. Then we offer some case details for our traditional hands-on live action role playing (LARPing) activity, where audience members work in groups to represent a stakeholder on stage. Shine on!
Relevant for: SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 13: Climate Action SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
The Sustainability Transformation programme area at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stavanger welcomes you to a public event with renowned scholar Matthew Huber on the occasion of his visit to Stavanger for a book seminar.
Time and date: 10:15-11:45, Monday, 7 November 2022
Venue: Elise Ottesen-Jensens Hus 376, University of Stavanger campus
There is a consensus that climate change is a problem of inequality. Reams of research show how the richest contribute more emissions than the poor. Yet, this methodology rooted in carbon footprint analysis of consumption and lifestyle deploys a limited class analysis based simply on one’s income and consuming power. In this talk, I argue for a Marxist class analysis of climate change rooted in one’s relationship to material production. From this standpoint, the climate crisis is not primarily a problem of ‘believing science’ or individual ‘carbon footprints’—it is a problem rooted in who owns, controls and profits from production. From this basis, I review the class formation currently driving, and not delivering climate policy (the professional class), and the class with the social potential to win transformative climate action (the working class).
Matt Huber is Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Syracuse University. His work focuses on the relationships between energy, capitalism, and the politics of climate change. His is the author of Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom and the Forces of Capital (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Climate (2022, Verso Books). He is a regular contributor to Jacobin Magazine.
På vegne av forskningsprosjektet ROLES vil vi gjerne invitere deg til en workshop om omstilling i bytransport. Som en viktig aktør i utformingen av denne omstillingen, vil vi gjerne høre dine synspunkter og ha deg med i diskusjonen. Målet vårt er at diskusjonene skal ha nytte for deltakerne for å bidra til en mer sosialt inkluderende transportsektor.
Workshopen er del av prosjektet Responsive Organising for Low Emission Societies (ROLES), finansiert av Norges Forskningsråd og JPI Climate. Med verkstedet ønsker vi å tilby medarbeidere i diverse organisasjoner tilknyttet bytransport en mulighet til å drøfte våre funn. Forskningsresultatene våre er baserte på feltarbeid og intervjuer fokusert på omstilling av bytransport i Bergen og Stavanger.
Metoden vi bruker i ROLES-prosjektet handler om refleksive samtaler på tvers av erfaringer og interessegrupper. Med andre ord, alle er velkomne. På verkstedet vil dere oppleve Power Cube metoden, utviklet i Storbritannia. Det kan være et nyttig verktøy å bruke til andre formål og ikke minst for å få i gang konstruktiv dialog med andre aktører utover tradisjonelle linjer. Vi fortsetter med prosessen til høsten, og håper å få med oss noen av de samme deltakerne videre.
Arrangementene finner sted på:
Litteraturhuset i Bergen, 28. oktober, 9.00-12.30
Scandic Royal Stavanger Hotel i Stavanger, 11. november, 9.00-12.30
Governing Renewable Energy Rollouts in Financially Constrained Contexts
Bérénice Girarda, Renée Neven-Scharnigga, Shayan Shokrgozarb and Siddharth Sareenab
a: Department of Media and Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Norway
b: Department of Geography & Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, University of Bergen, Norway
Call for papers
Research on renewable energy rollouts, e.g. solar photovoltaics, has historically focused on frontrunner contexts (Sareen et al, in press) such as China, California and Freiburg. This special issue seeks to bring attention to rollout governance dynamics in financially constrained contexts where issues of energy affordability, poverty, and scarcity are particularly salient at diverse national, regional, and local scales.
In light of cost declines and quality improvement in renewable energy sources in the early 21st century, fossil fuel displacement in favour of cleaner alternatives has become technically and economically feasible. Emerging scholarship, however, underlines worrying rollout dynamics, such as bias toward utility-scale projects, socioecological degradation, and appropriation of land through green grabbing (Dunlap & Correa Arce, 2021; Stock & Birkenholtz, 2019; Siamanta, 2019). For example, the largest solar energy capacity increases are at utility scale, despite smaller-scale implementation potentially leading to better socio-ecological outcomes. Imaginaries, discourses, and practices by new and incumbent powers compete on how such rollouts should look and whom they should benefit to shape the current modality of implementation. Risks of exclusion, inequality and sub-optimality are particularly acute in financially constrained contexts with capital and cashflow constraints, energy poverty, pressure from foreign capital, and challenges linked to infrastructural deficits.
We invite studies that explore the unfolding dynamics of renewable energy rollout in diverse financially constrained contexts and identify emergent risks, while centring values of care (Damgaard, McCauley, & Reid, 2022), dignity (Franquesa Bartolome, 2018), necessity (Rao, Min, & Mastrucci, 2019), and justice (Bouzarovski, 2022). We are also keen to understand how these values shape institutional dynamics and accountability relations (Sareen and Wolf, 2021). We are furthermore interested in bottom-up transitions wherein households, institutions, communities, and municipalities bypass unaffordable or failing grids by investing in lower-carbon sources. This focus offers scope to combine attention at the intersection of efficiency measures and demand reduction with renewable energy rollout and fuel switching practices.
Renewable energy rollouts are taking place at multiple scales simultaneously, with different actors using myriad practices to legitimate their authority (Sareen, 2021). How do issues of energy affordability and poverty affect place-based debates on low-carbon transitions? Which aspects of socioecological issues are generally foregrounded or avoided in implementing renewable energy rollouts under financial constraints? How do synergies between these concerns and the pace of renewable energy rollouts materialise?
Contributions, which will ideally combine empirical and conceptual ambition and rigour, can aim to address the broad scope of themes presented below. We especially welcome conceptually ambitious papers that study renewable energy rollouts at multiple scales.
Legitimating processes and practices. How do imaginaries, master narratives and/or discourses interact with policy, regulation, planning, financial flows and other practices to shape energy transitions in financially- or politically-constrained contexts?
Indebtedness and austerity measures in low-carbon rollouts. What roles do public and private banks and funding agencies play in facilitating, shaping or limiting renewable energy rollouts and energy efficiency practices in different contexts?
Accountability in energy transitions. How do imaginaries around poverty, feminism, gender equality, masculinitiesand feminities impact the accountability relations that structure low-carbon transitions?
Policy and institutional change. What is the role of the state? What processes of state-building are implicated in energy transitions? How do state agents and institutions respond to pressures for accountability in energy transitions?
Contestation and opposition. How do various forms of protest, opposition and debate around justice, ecology, distribution and use of public resources, decentralised production and/or land grabbing, and the power dynamics that they reveal, shape energy transitions?
Climate coloniality. What strategies, practices, discursive and epistemic framings, material outcomes and imagined futures (Sultana, 2022) are working to reinforce or decentre the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism in energy transitions?
Submission guidelines and timeline
Email an extended 500 word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by 15 September 2022, preferably earlier. We will finalise selection by 30 September 2022, and pursue acceptance of a thematic special issue in a suitable journal directly thereafter. Papers will be workshopped during 21-23 November 2022 in Stavanger, Norway. Full drafts will be due by 20 January 2023. We aim to complete the special issue by the end of 2023.
With regard to the workshop, we will cover lunches and a conference dinner thanks to two grants – a University of Stavanger Green Transitions grant via the Greenhouse, and a Research Council of Norway grant for the Accountable Solar Energy TransitionS (ASSET) project. Participants will however be responsible for travel and accommodation costs. Limited modest bursaries will be available upon request. Online participation might also be possible. Confirmed invited speakers include Jamie Cross, Daniel Barber, Giulia Mininni and Ryan Stock.
Abstracts to be submitted by 15 September 2022
Workshop in Stavanger, Norway: 21-23 November 2022
Full drafts due on 20 January 2023
Bell, S., Daggett, C., & Labuski, C. (2020). Toward feminist energy systems: Why adding women and solar panels is not enough. Energy Research & Social Science, 68, 101557. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101557
Bisaga, I., Parikh, P., Tomei, J., & To, L. (2021). Mapping synergies and trade-offs between energy and the sustainable development goals: A case study of off-grid solar energy in Rwanda. Energy Policy, 149, 112028. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2020.112028
Damgaard, C., McCauley, D., & Reid, L. (2022). Towards energy care ethics: Exploring ethical implications of relationality within energy systems in transition. Energy Research & Social Science, 84, 102356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2021.102356
Sareen, S., Shokrgozar, S., Scharnigg, R., Girard, B., Martin, A., & Wolf, S. (in press). Accountable solar energy transitions in financially constrained contexts. In (ed. E. Edmondson) Sustainability transformations, social transitions and environmental accountabilities. London: Palgrave.
Sareen, S. (2021). Legitimating power: Solar energy rollout, sustainability metrics and transition politics. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 25148486211024903.
Siamanta, Z. (2019). Wind parks in post-crisis Greece: Neoliberalisation vis-à-vis green grabbing. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2(2), 274–303. https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848619835156
Stock, R., & Birkenholtz, T. (2021). The sun and the scythe: Energy dispossessions and the agrarian question of labor in solar parks. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 48(5), 984–1007. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2019.1683002