Creating Just Energy Transitions: From Radioactivity to Renewables
Lecturers: Jennifer Richter
Irregular seminar Jennifer Richter.
How to sustainably produce energy to power the hopes, dreams, and everyday activities of billions of humans across the planet is one of the most critical social questions facing humanity in the 21st century. In this talk, I explore how nuclear and renewable energy sources embody the promises, perils, and paradoxes of pursuing political ideals such as energy security and independence. By examining case studies in the American context that are related to nuclear waste storage and solar technologies, I identify several key considerations that need to be acknowledged and articulated in science and technology policies shaping modern energy production and transitions. These include environmental and intergenerational justice goals as well as how the production of scientific knowledge is translated into local, state, national and international policies. Ultimately, understanding how political, cultural, and economic values are embedded in energy technologies is a crucial element of planning just and sustainable energy transitions in the present and (far) future.