Authors: Kacper Szulecki, Andrzej Ancygier and Dariusz Szwed
ESPRi Working Paper no 5, 2015
Development of renewable sources of energy has not only a significant impact on the power system but also on society. It has the potential to replace the existing conventional sources of energy with never-ending renewable sources, while at the same time empowering the consumers of electricity and leading to the democratization of the power system. What are the impacts of energy transformation on the society and on the political system, and what are the socio-political impediments for an energy transformation to take place? Finally, what kind of energy/society relations do we want to achieve as a result? Tapping into the ongoing policy debate on “energy democracy”, we try to conceptualize the societal aspects of energy transformation and renewable energy expansion. Departing from a conceptualization of energy policy that treats society not as the object but its subject, we put forth five levels of RES influence on society.
Keywords: renewable energy, energy democracy, energy policy, Germany, Poland, Energiewende, political economy