Wind energy and the Just Transition: Political and socio-economic pinch points in wind turbine manufacturing and windfarm communities in Europe and South Africa

Project status

Our international team will develop five comparative case studies on wind turbine manufacturing and windfarm deployment in Denmark, Germany, England, Scotland and South Africa. Our analysis will consider four pinch points in the pursuit of a just transition to low carbon energy: (1) community engagement and resistance, (2) vocational skill formation, (3) job quality and (4) social dialogue. Using data collected from eighty-five interviews conducted between 2012 and 2018 and new data from twenty-nine interviews and thirteen focus groups we will explore the following: How is just transition defined and implemented? What are the political and socio-economic pinch points at manufacturing sites and in windfarm communities? How are the intensifying demands on work and the environment, resulting from political agendas requiring low cost and large scale deployment of wind turbines, being dealt with? How can the expansion of this new industry be managed equitably?

Dr Lisa Schulte, Middlesex University; Dr Sian Stephens, Middlesex University; Dr Charles Umney, University of Leeds

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