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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

Accountable Solar Energy TransitionS (ASSET)

Alternative title: Ansvarlig omstilling til solenergi (ASSET)

Awarded: NOK 8.1 mill.

The failure to rapidly cut emissions despite impending climate breakdown is undermining the legitimacy of the institutions that govern multi-scalar energy transitions. Accountability scholarship has focused on structural aspects of global and national governance, but neglected (i) informal contestation and power dynamics in sustainability transitions, and (ii) the sub-national scales where regional and local politics and priorities determine the political economy of low-carbon energy transitions. Through timely adaptation of established insights to rapid transitions beyond structuralist approaches, the project seeks to establish accountability analysis as a major methodology. It asks: How do accountability relations affect rapid energy transition? It aims to produce insights that can support the just, accountable governance of multi-scalar energy transitions in financially constrained contexts. The project will advance research at the intersection of accountability and energy transitions, using the rapid case of solar energy rollout. It will apply an accountability analysis approach in a first-of-its-kind comparative multi-scalar design to study energy transitions governance. This will advance research on energy governance and inform policies for Accountable Solar Energy TransitionS (ASSET). It combines ethnographic methods with an explicitly comparative research design, and will integrate informal practices into future energy governance research. Unlike most solar rollout studies that focus on first-mover states, ASSET will study financially constrained contexts: Portugal and Rajasthan. Another novel aspect is the choice of many multi-scalar solar rollout projects at quite diverse energy development levels, yet with sufficient similarities for analytical comparison. Thus, the project will produce actionable knowledge on policies for just and rapid solar energy rollout and theorise the relationship between accountable governance and the impact of energy transitions.

The failure to rapidly cut emissions despite impending climate breakdown is undermining the legitimacy of the institutions that govern multi-scalar energy transitions. Accountability scholarship has focused on structural aspects of global and national governance, but neglected (i) informal contestation and power dynamics in sustainability transitions, and (ii) the sub-national scales where regional and local politics and priorities determine the political economy of low-carbon energy transitions. Through timely adaptation of established insights to rapid transitions beyond structuralist approaches, the project seeks to establish accountability analysis as a major methodology. It asks: How do accountability relations affect rapid energy transition? It aims to produce insights that can support the just, accountable governance of multi-scalar energy transitions in financially constrained contexts. The project will advance research at the intersection of accountability and energy transitions, using the rapid case of solar energy rollout. It will apply an accountability analysis approach in a first-of-its-kind comparative multi-scalar design to study energy transitions governance. This will advance research on energy governance and inform policies for Accountable Solar Energy TransitionS (ASSET). It combines ethnographic methods with an explicitly comparative research design, and will integrate informal practices into future energy governance research. Unlike most solar rollout studies that focus on first-mover states, ASSET will study financially constrained contexts: Portugal and Rajasthan. Another novel aspect is the choice of many multi-scalar solar rollout projects at quite diverse energy development levels, yet with sufficient similarities for analytical comparison. Thus, the project will produce actionable knowledge on policies for just and rapid solar energy rollout and theorise the relationship between accountable governance and the impact of energy transitions.

Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam