To those interested in STS perspectives on energy transitions, please consider submitting your abstract to the Open Panel 106:
As energy transitions are happening everywhere, two dominant and competing narratives are shaping policies, markets, and public imaginations. On the one hand, post-Paris climate action appears to be the driving force behind energy-related efforts in the global North; while rapid access to modern energy services dominates the landscape of actions in the global South. These visions of sociotechnical futures are significantly different from the energy systems of today, as current practices are still being shaped by principles rooted in the 20th-century idea of the electric grid. This mismatch between practices and ambitions are giving rise to unresolved tensions between policy framings and energy action.
Furthermore, these overpowering global narratives are masking sociotechnical realities of exclusion and disenfranchisement of historically marginalized actors (indigenous and rural populations, the urban poor), that undermine principles of social and environmental justice. Consequently, alternative visions of inclusive energy futures cannot find a place within the dominant narratives of sustainable energy transitions.
We seek contribution that utilizes an STS approach to study the conflicting nature of clean energy transition narratives, uneven power dynamics, and trade-offs that undermine human and environmental rights. We encourage perspectives from the Global South and post-colonial STS frameworks and methodologies that demonstrate the inherent contradiction of the political economy of the global energy systems. We also welcome critical perspectives and case studies on place-based knowledge and innovation systems that demonstrate such conflicts and provide alternative pathways and imaginations.