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The German energy(half)turnaround : an analysis of soft-power mechanisms that shape the German energy transformation

Buschmann, Pia LU (2013) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20131
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
At present climate change, diminishing fossil fuel resources as well as an ever-increasing hunger for energy count among the biggest unresolved sustainability challenges of the 21st century. Germany claims to be one of the first industrialized countries that are addressing this triple challenge by transforming their traditional electricity supply to renewables. Nevertheless, scientific experts are concerned that the German Energiewende (in English: energy turnaround), similar to other energy transformations, is destined to turn into a half-hearted technological fix instead of a far-reaching energy revolution, as it does not foster energy efficiency and sufficiency. Against this problem context, the thesis aims to uncover the mechanisms... (More)
At present climate change, diminishing fossil fuel resources as well as an ever-increasing hunger for energy count among the biggest unresolved sustainability challenges of the 21st century. Germany claims to be one of the first industrialized countries that are addressing this triple challenge by transforming their traditional electricity supply to renewables. Nevertheless, scientific experts are concerned that the German Energiewende (in English: energy turnaround), similar to other energy transformations, is destined to turn into a half-hearted technological fix instead of a far-reaching energy revolution, as it does not foster energy efficiency and sufficiency. Against this problem context, the thesis aims to uncover the mechanisms that lead to this unsatisfactory approach to sustainability. In doing so, the thesis first establishes with the help of framing method which sustainability perspective is underlying the Energiewende agenda. On this basis, Steven Lukes’ three dimensional view of power is guiding the qualitative research to show how mechanisms of soft-power shape the Energiewende agenda and prevent alternative sustainability perspectives from gaining ground. In a final step, Jürgen Habermas’ concept of new social movements is employed to identify promising mechanisms of resistance that are valuable to broadening the Energiewende agenda and to seizing its full potential. The thesis’ findings highlight the significant contribution of recent social and political theories to sustainability science for understanding the deeper dynamics of sustainability transformations, and the need to base political agendas on a broader informational basis of sustainability perspectives. (Less)
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author
Buschmann, Pia LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Energiewende, energy transformation, power mechanisms, social movements, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2013:021
language
English
id
3813851
date added to LUP
2013-06-18 10:32:32
date last changed
2013-06-18 10:32:32
@misc{3813851,
  abstract     = {At present climate change, diminishing fossil fuel resources as well as an ever-increasing hunger for energy count among the biggest unresolved sustainability challenges of the 21st century. Germany claims to be one of the first industrialized countries that are addressing this triple challenge by transforming their traditional electricity supply to renewables. Nevertheless, scientific experts are concerned that the German Energiewende (in English: energy turnaround), similar to other energy transformations, is destined to turn into a half-hearted technological fix instead of a far-reaching energy revolution, as it does not foster energy efficiency and sufficiency. Against this problem context, the thesis aims to uncover the mechanisms that lead to this unsatisfactory approach to sustainability. In doing so, the thesis first establishes with the help of framing method which sustainability perspective is underlying the Energiewende agenda. On this basis, Steven Lukes’ three dimensional view of power is guiding the qualitative research to show how mechanisms of soft-power shape the Energiewende agenda and prevent alternative sustainability perspectives from gaining ground. In a final step, Jürgen Habermas’ concept of new social movements is employed to identify promising mechanisms of resistance that are valuable to broadening the Energiewende agenda and to seizing its full potential. The thesis’ findings highlight the significant contribution of recent social and political theories to sustainability science for understanding the deeper dynamics of sustainability transformations, and the need to base political agendas on a broader informational basis of sustainability perspectives.},
  author       = {Buschmann, Pia},
  keyword      = {Energiewende,energy transformation,power mechanisms,social movements,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {The German energy(half)turnaround : an analysis of soft-power mechanisms that shape the German energy transformation},
  year         = {2013},
}