Energy is central to the fabric of society. This book revisits the classic notions of energy impacts by examining the social effects of resource extraction and energy projects which are often overlooked. Energy impacts are often reduced to the narrow configurations of greenhouse gas emissions, chemical spills or land use changes. However, this neglects the fact that the way we produce, distribute and consume energy shapes society, political institutions and culture.

The authors trace the impacts of contemporary energy and resource extraction developments and explain their significance for the shaping of powerful social imaginaries and a reconfiguration of political and democratic systems. They analyse not only the complex histories and landscapes of industrial mining and energy development, including oil, coal, wind power, gas (fracking) and electrification, but also their significance for contested energy and social futures. Based on ethnographic and interdisciplinary research from around the world, including case studies from Australia, Germany, Kenya, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Turkey, UK and USA, they document the effects on local communities and how these are often transformed into citizen engagement, protest and resistance. This sheds new light on the relationship between energy and power, reflecting a wide array of pertinent impacts beyond the usual considerations of economic efficiency and energy security.

The volume is aimed at advanced students and researchers in anthropology, sociology, human geography, science and technology studies, environmental studies and sustainable development as well as professionals working in the field of impact assessments.

chapter |19 pages


Conceptualising energy impacts and contested energy futures
ByAnna Szolucha

chapter 1|17 pages

Extractive inequalities

Coal, land acquisition and class in rural New South Wales, Australia
ByHedda Haugen Askland, Matthew Bunn

chapter 2|16 pages

Petroleum in the Barents Region

Local impacts and dreams at sea
ByRagnhild Freng Dale

chapter 3|17 pages

Creating and debating energy citizenship

The case of shale gas in Poland 1
ByRoberto Cantoni, Aleksandra Lis, Agata Stasik

chapter 4|18 pages

Energy practices and the construction of energy democracy in the Noordoostpolder (the Netherlands)

ByElisabet Dueholm Rasch, Michiel Köhne

chapter 6|19 pages

Community renewable energy in developing countries

An assessment challenge
ByRolando Madriz-Vargas, Anna Bruce, Muriel Watt

chapter 7|16 pages

Class, CO2 and urban climate change mitigation

On saving energy in a post-industrial German city
ByFelix Ringel

chapter 8|19 pages

Contested wind energy

Discourses on energy impacts and their significance for energy justice in Fosen
ByPia Piroschka Otte, Katrina Rønningen, Espen Moe

chapter 9|18 pages

What lies below

The politics of resource conflict in Turkana, Kenya
ByMarianna Betti

chapter 12|5 pages


Resource extraction, energy impacts and openings for change
ByAnna Szolucha