(Dis)embedding the Wind - On People-Climate Reconciliation in Danish Wind Power Planning

Laura Tolnov Clausen*, David Philipp Rudolph

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The rationality of large scale deployment of wind energy to tackle climate change is entangled in the need for generating technological advancement, economic growth and social acceptance – the latter by supporting the reconciliation of local communities with green technologies, what we term as ‘people-climate reconciliation’. However, as challenges in practice, and a growing research in the field of ‘social acceptance’ of renewable energy have shown, the form of reconciliation at stake seems often to happen economically, spatially and democratically detached from the local host communities. This paper argues that the understanding of people-climate reconciliation, framing modern wind power developments, is problematic due to its underlying principles of Green Capitalism and the processes of alienation that it creates. Inspired by Polanyi’s concept of ‘dis-embedding’, i.e. the separation of economy from social relations, and Shivas’s concept of ‘living economy’, i.e. local and decentralized economy shaped by people in their everyday lives, the paper sheds light on what and who is being reconciled when deploying wind farms. Based on empirical data from a Danish case the hegemonic discourse on reconciliation framing renewable energy policies and practices of large wind farm developers is juxtaposed with a local counter-discourse. In doing so, the paper identifies rationales underlying a community-based counter-movement. The paper argues for a reconciliation of renewables with the life of local citizens based on enhanced ‘re-embedding’ of renewable energy developments into local culture and economy thereby considering dimensions of place-identity, equality and democracy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies
Volume17
Issue number1
Number of pages17
ISSN1602-2297
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Wind-energy
  • Discourse analysis
  • Green growth
  • Reconciliation
  • Alienation
  • Disembedding
  • Counter-movement

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