Marco Sonnberger, Maria Pfeiffer, Alenna Bleicher, and Matthias Gross invite submissions for their panel during STS Conference 2024, Graz, 6 – 8 May. You can find their panel description below.

Modern societies are systematically exploiting renewable energy sources on an ever faster and growing scale. By so doing, an increasing decentralization of energy production can be witnessed, which brings conflicts over land grabbing as well as local, democratic participation and co-production to the fore. This raises questions of distributive and procedural justice, which are deeply entangled with questions of ownership. Thus understood, energy transitions bring about different constellations of ownership with regard to renewable energy production that are inherently contested and publicly disputed. For example, some praise energy cooperatives for being a democratic form of participation in energy transitions, while others point to the sociostructural exclusivity of their members. In this context, this session will be particularly focusing on the analysis of emerging conflicts, framings, trade-offs, side effects as well as emerging decision-making structures around ownership regimes and property rights.

Contributions to this paper session could address but are not limited to questions such as:

  • Do the material qualities of renewable energy sources call for novel property rights
  • Are there any differences in “doing” ownership between renewable and fossil energy
  • What kind of role do different forms of property (state property, private property or
    common property) play in the context of renewable energy production? Are they related to
    questions of distributive and procedural justice? And if so, how?
  • Do ownership regimes “qualitatively” change in the context of energy transitions? Are new
    ownership regimes emerging?
  • Are dominant ownership regimes contested in the context of wind energy expansion? Are
    novel conflicts emerging?
  • How do different social actors frame and relate to property rights of renewables? How do
    renewables become framed as ownable and alienable?

Abstracts can be submitted here: The deadline is January 22 2024.