Encountering energy in systems and everyday spaces

Karen Henwood (Cardiff University)
Eefje Cuppen (Delft University of Technology)
Nick Pidgeon (Cardiff University)
Encounters between people, things and environments
Faraday Lecture Theatre (Faraday Complex)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel will debate everyday, emplaced encounters with energy systems & technologies undergoing a period of rapid transition, the environmental risk issues & uncertainties they raise for citizens, scientists and society, and engage with different levels of governing energy system transformation.

Long abstract:

The environmental imperative of accelerating climate change means that energy systems and their associated technologies are undergoing a period of rapid transition. These changes will involve diverse everyday encounters with new forms of renewable energy and storage systems, carbon sequestration and geological imaginaries, and flexible socio-technical energy systems in relation to future 'smart' living. These energy system changes have uncertain implications for citizens, scientists and society. They will create novel encounters with infrastructures and everyday spaces of energy production and consumption, bringing material and symbolic aspects of emplaced encounters to the fore in energy system transformations. The panel will debate such encounters, the uncertainties they raise around risk issues, the ways in which they are lived by people and projected into the future, and their implications for conflicts around whole energy systems change. We welcome papers which engage with these issues through theoretical lenses for capturing the normative diversity and values implicated in system change, the temporal dynamics of change, and complex forms of subjectivity (stabilising and destabilising around environmental, technological, and other identities). 'Encounters' with energy systems in these terms do not just take place in everyday life, but on different levels of governing energy system transformation, including individual, organisational, network, and institutional. Papers will explore different types of contributions, e.g. related to energy siting conflicts, their institutional embedding, the extraordinary and ordinary in encounters with energy systems, energy practices and psycho-social dynamics, governance and public engagement strategies and practices, and inter- and intra-organisational encounters in energy systems.