Evolution of knowledge tensions on energy transition narratives in Australia

Presentation Date: 

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Presented at the Energy Systems in Transition: Inter- and Transdisciplinary Contributions Conference

The narratives for rapid energy transitions have been unpredictably springing out from various junctures that constantly and frequently change its policy context. Examples are (1) the necessity to curb down emissions trajectory which has been blamed for climate change, (2) events including accidents (e.g. Fukushima) and the corresponding public shifts in public opinion (e.g. post-Fukushima nuclear debates), (3) the development of new energy sources (e.g. shale gas), and (4) changes in accepted expert knowledge (including risk assessments and calculations of economic costs of various energy sources especially the myriad models and examples for 100% renewables). In this paper, I examine the controversies concerning the crucial evolution of these knowledge tensions that shape the narratives on energy transitions in Australia. I interrogate the role, credibility and authority of various types and sources of knowledge- experts and forms of expertise - under conditions of strong cognitive and normative uncertainty of the transition discourse. Using an STS lens, I analyze the temporal dimensions of knowledge struggles surrounding energy transitions. Thus, the paper responds to the questions (1) What are the roles of the various forms and expressions of expertise in the creation and analysis of these junctures, and (2) How do these roles and forms of expertise are shaped at these junctures.

Read presentation here.