Energy justice discourses in citizen deliberations on systems flexibility in the United Kingdom: Vulnerability, compensation and empowerment

Gareth Thomas, Christina Demski, Nick Pidgeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This article details the application of energy justice as an analytic lens for exploring the social acceptability of energy systems flexibility and governance in the UK. Drives towards the uptake of inflexible, low-carbon generation technologies are expected to generate new challenges for balancing energy supply with demand, requiring changes in network management. From the uptake of new storage technologies to shifts in practices and governance, such changes may impact on everyday energy users in a variety of ways. Drawing on data collected from deliberative workshops conducted in England, Scotland and Wales, we examine how members of the public interpret and respond to six models for governing future, more flexible energy systems. In so doing, we illustrate the value of the energy justice literature in making sense of the ways citizens identify and balance concerns relating to how distributions of needs, capacities, and benefits, may shape novel forms of energy system participation. We also draw attention to the ways in which alternative discourses about fairness rooted in neoliberal understandings of market exchange may interact with and contradict more socially salient understandings of flexibility justice rooted in concern for vulnerable groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101494
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Energy citizenship
  • Energy justice
  • Energy storage
  • Flexibility
  • Time-of-use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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