Evolving energy landscapes in the South Wales Valleys: Exploring community perception and participation

David H. Llewellyn, Melanie Rohse, Rosie Day, Hamish Fyfe

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Abstract

Emerging and future sustainable energy systems will greatly impact upon landscapes and are likely to require wholesale societal transformation. In Wales, recent policy proposals to achieve decarbonisation prescribe greater roles for local and community energy. However, wider citizen engagement and public discourse on comprehensive energy transformations appear somewhat stagnant. The ‘Stories of Change’ project has sought to catalyse more plural public debates around energy futures. As part of the project, we explored past and present everyday energy relationships with communities in the Valleys of south Wales. At a time of energy transition, and legislative and policy flux, the Valleys afford opportunities to reveal stories about past and present energy experiences and relationships in order to gain enhanced understanding into emerging social meanings of new energy infrastructures and evolving energy landscapes. Here we focus on relationships with ‘old’ energy landscapes; how these and the prevailing socio-economic landscape influence the perceptions and creation of emerging ones; and, how communities are engaged and involved in the making of new energy landscapes. We consider finally how these might inform implementation of proposed energy policy, especially in a Welsh context.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Energy landscapes
  • Community energy
  • Wales
  • Energy policy
  • Well-being of Future Generations Act

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