UFZ EnergyDays 2016 - Session C2

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Renewable energy siting and new conflict lines

Coordinators and chairpersons: Matthias Groß , Nona Schulte-Römer


This session explores new potential conflict lines in the context of renewable energy site selections. It centers on the question of how these conflicts evolve as the German Energiewende continues to develop and how they relate to parallel developments. Drawing on empirical examples, the discussion will focus on a variety of topics, including but not limited to the following:

Energy-related protest: How do civic protests against energy siting change and differ as renewable energy production becomes more and more common and widespread? We are also interested in relationships between old and new energy protests: How are the renewed protests against open cast mining or the selection of permanent disposal sites for nuclear waste linked to renewable energy issues and vice versa?

Ownership structures: Recent movements to re-municipalize energy utilities raise the question of how public and private ownership affects renewable energy-related conflicts. In other words, can we find evidence that the establishment of renewable energy infrastructures is either facilitated or slowed down by remunicipalisation? Can we transfer our findings to conflicts around renewables and site selection on the countryside?

New spatial conflict lines: Sun and wind may appear as sources of infinite energy, the spaces for their exploration are not. The conflict potential in this respect is vast and well-known. However, less apparent are conflicts that can arise when renewable energy siting interferes spatially with already existing energy production sites. We are interested in cases and concepts to settle or prevent such conflicts between present and future suppliers of the renewable energy mix. 

In this session, the presenters will cover different areas offering concrete examples followed by an open panel discussion.


09:00 - 09:30 Communities and space-related conflicts over wind farms: Insights from the UK and Denmark
David Rudolph
Technical University of Denmark

09:30 - 10:00 “Energiewende” and citizens’ protest: Local conflicts, actors and dynamics
Julia Zilles
University of Göttingen
10:00 - 10:30 Us, and them: Lines of conflict, identities, and socially constructed spaces in the context of siting decisions for wind energy developments
Markus Leibenath
Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development
10:30 - 11:00 Energy controversy theorised in the context of socio-technical change: The case of fracking for shale gas
Paul Upham1, Aleksandra Lis2, Hauke Riesch3 and Piotr Stankiewicz4
1 Leuphana University
2 Adam Mickiewicz University
3 Brunel University
4 Nicolaus Copernicus University