La vida social de la energía: apuntes para el estudio territorializado de las transiciones energéticas






Abstract This paper presents a theoretical and methodological proposal for the sociological study of energy transition towards non-conventional renewable energy, as a process of induced transformation related to climate change, whose courses of action are not exempt from socio-technical controversies. The proposal is based on a four-year research program on territorial trajectories of production, use and making sense of energy in three regions of southern Chile. Based on a theoretical matrix of energy transition structured according the degrees of renewability and conventionality of energy, different socio-technical regimes are identified, from which the situated forms taken by this transition should be empirically investigated. Each of these regimes was researched through case studies, which allows us to present some general lessons of sociological interest. Concluding, it is proposed to transcend the concept of regime by means of the notion of assemblage, which allows for exploring non-linear ways heterogeneous agents associate in the territorialization of energy. In addition, we contend that the driving force behind research on this subject should not be the degrees of social acceptance or rejection of different sources of energy, but rather the way societies define, debate and pragmatically construct democratic and fair forms of energy use in a given territory. From our perspective, this means advancing in the understanding of these processes as part of people’s energy sovereignty.

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