chapter  5
17 Pages

Energy democracy and the co-production of social and technological systems in northeastern North America 1

ByMatthew J. Burke

As integrated socio-technical systems, renewable energy systems are co-produced with new social arrangements, as social institutions of the fossil-fuel era are transformed for an age of renewables. This research explores this proposition by examining the recent phenomenon of energy democracy, emphasising the region of northeastern North America. Energy democracy is both a social movement and a set of principles and goals for organising collective action toward energy transition. The analyses reveal a set of core policies for advancing this agenda and identify a set of organisations and their transition narratives actively working to promote energy democracy across this region. As evidenced by energy democracy, this research demonstrates that renewable systems can and already are enabling changes across elements of governance, yet not without conflicts and limitations. If greater technological change is desired, more attention is needed regarding the innovation of corresponding institutions for societies powered by renewable energy.