Accepted Paper:

On site public participation in the development of renewable energy installations  

Author:

Gerhard Fuchs (University of Stuttgart)

Paper Short Abstract:

When asking the question whether and on what grounds formal decisions about energy technologies and infrastructures are contested, we have to adapt a relational view, distinguishing between spatial, social, temporal and material aspects.

Paper long abstract:

The call for papers hints at the tension between between highly formalized decision making procedures especially in the "old" energy sector and a strong public interest in energy related issues among the public - at least in Germany.

The paper will look especially at developments in the electricity sector in Germany. This sector is interesting because a variety of new lines of conflict have emerged. A line of conflict between "old" incumbent actors (like network operators, big utilities) and citizen action groups battling decisions, line of conflict in which actors are engaged when attempting to change the institutional framework f local electricity system and when trying to gain new positions in this system. Lines of conflict also between citizens in favor and against specific siting decisions concerning renewable energies.

When asking the question whether and on what grounds formal decisions about energy technologies and infrastructures are contested, we have to adapt a relational view, distinguishing between spatial, social, temporal and material aspects. The paper will analyze four different types of conflicts in which the relationship between social, spatial, temporal and material aspects plays out differently: two conflicts about wind energy installations, one concerning grid extension and one involving a bio-mass installation

Panel D02
Challenging formal arrangements and decision-making in the energy sector