The Social Life of Energy

Marten Boekelo
We need ambitious climate policy that takes into account the social dimensions of building a sustainable energy system. How can we move fast and heal things? Read these weekly updates from the social science of energy for inspiration.
Created 20 Apr 2019
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  • The visible hand of environmental justice
    11 Aug 2021 • 5 min read
    Before starting off the newsletter proper, I’d like share some meta-reflections on the IPCC report: Arthur Petersen (Prof. Science & Technology, UCL) is pleased: Scientists are no longer afraid to tel...
  • The (messy) work of innovation
    26 Jul 2021 • 6 min read
    Happy Monday, folks, Some inspiration for a creative week. What does it mean to ‘innovate’? Many look for the decisive mark of the singular genius or the cutting-edge company. Perhaps the best-known r...
  • Making markets for sustainable energy
    30 Jun 2021 • 4 min read • 1 0
    "The most basic level of sustainable energy necessary for human well-being corresponds to the level of supply and the level of electricity services that a solar lamp can provide." - UN Sustainable Ene...
  • Recognition should be at the heart of the energy transition
    18 Jun 2021 • 4 min read • 3 0
    Dear people, welcome to the SLE, for your dose of inspiration on how to do sustainable energy transitions. I’ll be experimenting with a different format starting today, to manage the amount of time I’...
  • Do we need citizen assemblies for our energy transition?
    27 May 2021 • 5 min read • 1 1
    Dear folks, a little while ago, a Dutch governmental committee on “citizen involvement in climate policy” came out with a recommendation for a citizens’ assembly for climate and energy. In response, T...
  • Ownership, appropriation and legitimacy of wind turbines
    14 Apr 2021 • 7 min read • 1 0
    “As a nimby, you start researching and thinking critically. They are pushing through their principles, without sufficiently taking into account the well-being of citizens and the natural environment.”...
  • Let people make wind turbines
    14 Apr 2021 • 9 min read
    Below you will find excerpts from my interview with Helena Solman, PhD candidate at Wageningen University, which you can listen to here (or look for the Social Life of Energy on your favourite podcast...
  • Leveling the playing field for energy communities
    26 Mar 2021 • 5 min read • 1 1
    Hello, and welcome back to the Social Life of Energy! Last issue I placed the problems that occurred with the Texas Freeze in a larger regulatory picture. The ridiculous response of certain conservati...
  • The Texas Freeze and the distribution of risk
    08 Mar 2021 • 7 min read • 2 0
    A social scientist walks into bar. Says to the other patron: "Say, have you heard about the Texas Freeze?". Says the patron, "Yeah of course, it was all over the news a couple of weeks ago. It was dam...
  • Achieving reliable service in corrupt electricity sectors (lessons from Lebanon)
    17 Feb 2021 • 12 min read
    Last week I teased my interview with Muzna and Neil about tackling corruption in the Lebanese electricity sector. They wrote the report about it (together with Ali Ahmad and Marc Ayoub). Last week you...
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