P07
The energy transition: an anti-politics machine?

Convenors:
Nathalie Ortar (ENTPE)
Tristan Loloum (University of Durham)
Chair:
Daniel Knight (University of St Andrews)
Format:
Panels
Location:
Palatine - PCL054
Start time:
5 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

In times of urgency when the "energy transition" is presented as an indisputable necessity, this panel aims to question the political uses of such a transformation, as well as the intents to depoliticize it through expert knowledge and technicist ideologies.

Long abstract:

In times of urgency when the "energy transition" is presented as an indisputable necessity, this panel aims to question the political uses of such a transformation, as well as the intents to depoliticize it through expert knowledge and technicist ideologies. The very choice of the term "transition" seems to depoliticize its real implications: a "transition" implies a gentle, gradual, consensual change; unlike "revolution" or change itself which can be structural, critical or violent. How revolutionary, or eventually counter-revolutionary, is the so-called energy transition? What are the implications of these techno-political decisions on everyday life? Whether it is supported by heavy infrastructure changes or by off-grid technological initiatives, the energy transition from primarily carbon-based to other forms of energy production fundamentally affects social relations and what Dominic Boyer (2014) has recently termed the "energopolitics". Faced to "urgent time", how can slow ethnography and anthropological analysis contribute to (re)politicize the energy transition ? We invite papers offering an analysis of the political processes underlying the development of new energy technologies in different global contexts in order to understand the impact of energy transitions beyond purely technological and economic frames. Papers may address the administration and bureaucracy of energy, environmental management, ownership of energy infrastructure (by the state or community groups), household energy schemes, and new understandings of energy extraction, in order to build a broader picture of the grassroots effects of energopolitics and the development of new energy horizons.