Accepted Paper:

Making the Anglesey Energy Island: Energy transitions and the politics of geographic scale  

Author:

Márton Fabók (Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute)

Paper long abstract:

The spatial dimensions of technological controversies have often been neglected in STS research. In this presentation I mobilise insights from human geography to highlight how the politics of geographic scale is played out in the governance of energy transition. The empirical case is a proposed nuclear power plant construction project in Wylfa, on the Isle of Anglesey, in the north of Wales. Instead of being standalone project, Wylfa Newydd is envisioned as constituting the so-called Anglesey Energy Island. The island is, however, not the only scale invoked. Looking at the level of Wales, UK and even the EU, strikingly different definitions of the Wylfa project are used in the efforts of strengthening the relevant levels of governance. The governance does not only involve multiple levels of the state, the Japanese nuclear vendor or the National Grid play also key parts in defining governance in spatial terms. The spatial definition of the affected publics is in the centre of the controversies with specific regards to transboundary environmental effects and employment catchment area. The examples highlight how the definitions and conflicts around geographical scale are in the very core of making energy futures on Anglesey.

Panel L4
Energy controversies and technology conflicts