April 27: The Political Construction of Renewable Energy Resources

Apr 27, 2022

Join Prof. Alain Nadai for a seminar on the politics of transitions to renewable energy in democracies. Prof. Nadai is a senior interdisciplinary social scientist at CIRED (Centre for International Research on Environment and Development) in France. He is an expert on renewable energy policy and development in France and the EU, and was a lead author for the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN 2011). Prof. Nadai’s visit to Vancouver is part of the French Scholar Lecture Series, supported by PWIAS and the Consulate General of France in Vancouver.

About the talk

The urgent need to prevent the worst effects of climate change and to preserve a habitable earth is widely recognized. The massive shift to non-fossil forms of energy, so-called renewables, confronts us with (new) pulsations of ecosystems (wind speed, solar radiation, ocean currents) and the need to install infrastructure in a myriad of new environments. This changes our relation to energy and the environment, and raises questions of acceptance in many countries.

The politics underlying the tensions around renewable energy developments are localized, diverse and controversial: they depend on the way in which renewable energy developments are articulated with the territories, the actors and the environment that are supposed to welcome them.

Alain Nadai

Prof. Nadai’s lecture will build on case studies of renewable energy developments in France, and draw from developments in social sciences (science and technology studies, valuation studies) in order to follow the social and technical process by which parts of our environment are constructed as renewable energy resources. He will discuss on this basis the politics and the democratic dimension of energy transitioning.

Prof. Nadai’s visit will be hosted by Wall Associate Milind Kandlikar, Director of the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at UBC.