[new publication] Urban Electric Hybridization: Exploring the Politics of a Just Transition in the Western Cape (South Africa)

We are happy to announce the release of Sylvy Jaglin’s article “Urban Electric Hybridization: Exploring the Politics of a Just Transition in the Western Cape (South Africa)” in The Journal of Urban Technology (ahead of press), 2023. Online at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10630732.2022.2111176

Abstract:

Focusing on the adoption of rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) by high-income households and businesses in the Western Cape, South Africa, the article analyzes its effects on the hybridization of urban electricity systems and the ability of municipalities to drive a just transition in cities where inequality remains very high. By reducing municipal electricity sales, decentralized solar technologies threaten the surpluses generated from charges paid by grid customers, which are essential to subsidize electricity services for the poor and support other municipal services. Based on fieldwork in four Western Cape cities, the paper shows that municipalities are implementing a variety of local arrangements (regulatory, tariff, and technical) to control distributed electricity generation and are seeking, with mixed success, to avoid a post-carbon transition model that undermines grid benefits by creating a new energy divide.

[new publication] Governing Hybridized Electricity Systems: The Case of Decentralized Electricity in Lebanon

Chaplain A. et Verdeil É., 2022, Governing Hybridized Electricity Systems: The Case of Decentralized Electricity in Lebanon, Journal of Urban Technology, ahead of print, https://doi.org/10.1080/10630732.2022.2105587

Policymakers see decentralized electricity supply as a way to both decarbonize energy systems and to fill the gap of electricity access in many countries where strong growth leave the grid lagging behind. This article sheds some light on the case of countries such as Lebanon, where diesel-fueled decentralized electricity systems have existed for years and increasingly coexist with, rather than being replaced by, solar powered systems. It is based on a synthesis of public quantitative data and qualitative information gathered through surveys. The article argues that understanding such dynamics involves an analysis, not only of the technological and socioeconomic determinants of the adoption of decentralized energy technologies but also of the political struggles between the various actors, with a particular focus on corporate actors, and wealthy users. In addition, the article shows how different political temporalities play in reproducing or opening the assemblage of technologies and interests that shape the hybridized energy landscape. The article also shows that hybridization has repercussions on the energy configuration as a whole, both in the evolving market share of each technology but also by deeply fragmenting the access to electricity along social and territorial lines and by pushing essential private actors to disconnect from the grid. As a conclusion, the promises of sustainable transitions need to be critically examined in light of these trends.

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search