Privately-owned, state-owned and public-private renewable energy (RE) projects are increasingly criticized by social scientists. They can involve dispossessions, management and financial inequalities, and environmental problems. Research also indicates that Community Renewable Energy (CRE) projects are not without problems and dangers. In this article, I go beyond critique of renewable energy projects, without abandoning them, in the face of mounting climate and ecological crises. I employ a productive approach to rethink RE development, that combines the diverse and community economies perspective developed by J.K. Gibson-Graham with political ecology research on alternative economies. Building on this approach and RE and CRE literature, I develop the notion of Community Renewable Energy Ecologies (CREE). CREE signify community economies involved in small-scale RE prosumption (production and consumption), or medium-scale RE prosumption and sale of energy. They adopt non-and alternative capitalist relations of ownership, production,exchange and circulation. CREE are engaged in collective ethico-political decision-making, and an oikopolitics embodying care for and affective relations with humans and more-than-humans. Such decision-making and oikopolitics are directed towards more 'thriving' and egalitarian socio-ecological futures. I identify particular ethico-political orientations for CREE and provide specific considerations for their constitutive elements (e.g. ownership,finance, labor, infrastructure). CREE reflect one of multiple possibilities for alternative sustainabilities in a pluriversal world.
Keywords: capitalism, affect, community economies, Renewable energy, climate change, commoning, climate chnage
How to Cite:
Siamanta, Z. C., (2021) “Conceptualizing alternatives to contemporary renewable energy development: Community Renewable Energy Ecologies (CREE)”, Journal of Political Ecology 28(1), p.47-69. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.2297
- Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund- ESF) through the Operational Programme «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning» in the context of "Reinforcement of Postdoctoral Researchers - 2nd Cycle" (MIS-5033021), implemented by the State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ).