Energy democracy: Growing social movement prioritizes potential for redistributing power through renewable transformation
by GRI, GRI
February 14, 2019
Energy democracy takes center stage as the cover story topic in the February issue of the journal “Environment.”
Authored by Global Resilience Institute Director for Strategic Research Collaborations Dr. Jennie Stephens, the article details the growing social movement, which prioritizes the potential for redistributing power to the people through renewable transformation. Dr. Stephens also serves as Director of Northeastern’s School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs and the Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy. Her research, teaching, and community engagement focus on social and political aspects of the renewable energy transition, reducing fossil fuel reliance, and strengthening societal resilience by integrating social justice with climate and energy policy. Her work explores institutional and cultural innovation in energy, including gender diversity and energy democracy, technological optimism, and enhancing the “usability” of climate science in strengthening climate resilience.
“Energy democracy acknowledges how fossil-fuel-based energy systems and the associated massive corporate profits of large multinational energy companies have perpetuated inequities, exacerbated disparate vulnerabilities, and promoted widespread injustices among and within communities around the world,” Dr. Stephens writes. “By highlighting the negative societal impacts of fossil-fuel-based concentration of power and wealth, the principles of energy democracy connect energy system change with an associated transformation toward a more socially just and equal society.”