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Accepted Paper:

Who wins and who loses from renewable energy transition? Large-scale solar, land, and livelihood in Karnataka, India  
Gareth Bryant (University of Sydney) Devleena Ghosh (University of Technology Sydney) Priya Pillai (University of Technology, Sydney)

Paper short abstract:

This article evaluates the winners and losers of the energy transition playing out around the Pavagada solar park in Karnataka, India.

Paper long abstract:

This article evaluates the winners and losers of the energy transition playing out around the Pavagada solar park in Karnataka, India. We analyse how the innovative land leasing and competitive tendering mechanisms of the ‘Pavagada model’ have shaped the socio-ecological relations and outcomes of the project. We show the solar park has provided investors with low-risk returns, state electricity distributers with low-cost power, and larger landowners with new income streams. However, we find that the model is entrenching colonial, gender, and caste-based inequalities and oppressions, particularly for landless agricultural labourers who have lost their sources of livelihood. We argue that when renewable energy policy is primarily concerned with reducing costs and managing risks for private investors and state actors, the potential benefits of energy transition will not be equitably shared. The case of Pavagada demonstrates the need for democratic ownership and control of renewable energy.

Panel P043a
Commoning-decommoning dynamics in climate and energy politics [Energy Anthropology Network] I
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -