Bergen Energy Lab (BEL)

Energy Transitions, Ownership, and the City: conflicts about remunicipalisation in Germany

Energy Transitions, Ownership, and the City: conflicts about remunicipalisation in Germany

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Postdoctoral Researcher Sören Becker at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin will present the topic of remunicipalisation in Germany. 

Over the past years, research debate regarding transitions to sustainability has moved away from the technological focus it has long been criticized for, and has embraced more systemic and politico-economic aspects fostering, but mainly impeding such transitions. This talk develops the issue of ownership for understanding urban energy transition dynamics, drawing from research on remunicipalisations in the German energy sector. Germany is commonly accredited for its high number of energy remunicipalisations occurring both in small communities of just over 1,000 inhabitants and in metropolises like Hamburg and Berlin. I will give an overview on the “wave of remunicpalisations” in Germany, and will focus on a process-based analysis of the politics around remunicipalisation in Hamburg and Berlin. Notably, movements in both cities were linking the issue of infrastructure ownership with broader aspirations for ecological transformation, social justice and political participation in the city. This talk will unfurl the different organisational models discussed to achieve these aims, the political strategies applied by both supporters and opponents to these plans, and the respective impact on urban (energy) governance. It will conclude with a reflection on the significance of these findings for debates on the politics and spatiality of sustainability transitions.

The seminar will be held from 12:15 to 13:00 (we open the doors at 12:00) in the Helland-Hansen room, Geophysical Institute, Allegaten 70, Bergen. It is free and open to all interested parties, so bring your lunch and join us for an interesting presentation followed by a Q&A session.