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Watching the wind blow by: a theoretical framework for improving energy justice in the UK.

Cope, R., 2019. Watching the wind blow by: a theoretical framework for improving energy justice in the UK. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

For over thirty years the Brundtland’s Commission’s definition has been widely accepted as the general definition of what sustainable development is. However, there is increasing academic discourse suggesting that aspects of the Brundtland’s definition are inadvertently limiting the potential of contemporary sustainability from the perspectives of both horizontal and vertical actors both nationally and internationally. Through a lack of a clear measuring tool of what effective sustainable development is under Brundtland’s definition, differing interpretations (either deliberately or subconsciously) can be made leading to competing interests between the environmental, economic and social pillars of the based on the interpreter’s subjective interests. Using an overarching definition of SD that overlooks or simplifies varying wants and needs of individuals and groups within a single society this can result in the production of unbalanced policy measures. These unbalanced policies then hamper significant advancement of sustainable technology implementation as they fail to adequately reflect these varied and competing needs. The UK is demonstrating such scenarios in which the skewed application of sustainable development is creating growing numbers of injustice. Increasing competition between economic growth and ecological protection twinned with unclear legislative definitions with regards to the UKs offshore wind industry are producing obstacles for planners in successfully applying for planning permission. Simultaneously, increasing socio-economic divides are creating compounded environmental injustices arising within coastal communities, when attempting to achieve sustainable development goals. Injustices such as inadequate individual and/or community involvement during the procedural and administrative phases of the planning and implementation stages of nationally significant offshore infrastructure projects. Evidence demonstrates that current national and regional energy policies are producing increased numbers of households qualifying as fuel poor, due to increasing costs of energy bills coupled with outdated and inefficient residential heating systems. Furthermore, not only are the numbers of households falling into fuel poverty increasing, but the gap between those who are and are not deemed as fuel poor is becoming larger. This creates greater social divisions of inequity throughout the UK, whilst the benefits of energy infrastructures are limited to a privileged minority of society. Utilising social justice aspects as the basis for an alternative framework model, this paper explores the potential for providing improved levels of ecological, environmental and energy justice within the UK offshore wind industry to reverse these growing trends of unequitable distributions. Comparisons of case studies implemented in Denmark with those in the UK demonstrate how such autarkic framework-based wind projects can significantly improve regional and community levels of sustainable development, on both an intergenerational and intragenerational basis.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:energy justice; sustainable development; wind; renewable energy; environmental sociology
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:32688
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:30 Aug 2019 09:02
Last Modified:30 Aug 2019 09:02

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