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Accepted Paper:

Whose transition? Local experiences of the energy transition in Groningen, The Netherlands  
Elisabeth Moolenaar (Regis University)

Paper short abstract:

This ethnographic paper explores the recent transition from gas to renewables in the province of Groningen. It describes locals’ changing attitudes to renewables and highlights their experiences of renewable energy production in the province akin to extractivism that relies on fossil fuels.

Paper long abstract:

The province of Groningen in the Netherlands has been extracted for energy production for centuries. This paper explores the fossil fuel journey from peat to gas, and traces the ongoing energy transition in the province and its sociocultural impacts. Earthquakes induced by conventional natural gas extraction have ushered in a community of resistance against gas extraction, local environmentalism, and a strong desire for renewables. However, once the transition away from gas and toward renewables became a reality, Groningers experienced it as just another incarnation of the centuries-old exploitation of their lands.

This paper is an ethnographic exploration of the recent transition from gas to renewables in the province of Groningen. It describes locals’ changing attitudes to renewables and highlights their experiences of renewable energy production in the province as similar to extractivism that relies on fossil fuels. Moreover, it illustrates how different actors envision and push for different avenues toward a fossil fuel-free future. Through this ethnographic exploration, the paper touches on ideas and experiences of not only energy production and transition but also ideas of government, nation, and political subjectivity. The paper enhances our understanding of contemporary power, energy justice, and how people imagine energy futures.

Panel P091c
Energy transition(s): the promises of renewables and future of the commons [Energy Anthropology Network] III
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -