ENERGY, PUBLIC POLICY AND TERRITORY
The operators of solar farms conformation and hybridization between the French centralized system.
Vincent BAGGIONI (University of Aix-Marseille/LAMES)
Aurélien Evrard showed how wind-power segment has complied with the terms of centralized development of French electricity. Initially worn by players of the Alternative , the development of wind power had to bow to the joint action of political and technical actors of the “Secteur” (Evrard, 2010). The new model of mass production of renewable energy (ENR) as the solar farms could suffer the same fate. Thus, the State, after (over) valued this production through high Feed-in tariffs, abruptly stopped the policy support, hindering the establishment of an industry yet in the process of structuring (CGDD, 2012; Observ ‘Er 2012). Historical energy operators of the state, those we call the Great French energy groups (GGEF) have meanwhile invest the French market solar parks, and appropriate technologies to structure a competitive offer to export. The scenario of the wind seems to repeat itself.
But the observation, rather than domination by actors of the “Secteur”, professional structuring of solar parks segment shows different development models. Regulatory difficulties and fluctuations in tariffs participated sorted actors, depending on the difficulties they have encountered or expected interest for this type of investment. The GGEF through their existing local ties, they preferred the land easier to develop. These sites have less sensitive contacted with conflict situations. They take less specific learning solar farms and maintain the practices established during the territorialisation of wind power. SMEs ENR, less familiar territory canvassed, they bind themselves to articulate the development to local circumstances and to “spare” places (Marié, 2005). This intensify our attention to places and people involved in conflict reduction for new entrants. However, the learning trajectories of actors ENR differentiate older, come from wind power, and more recent ones created during the emergence of PV. The place of consultation also differs development methods with different audiences. But convergence of practices also appears, indicating transmissions, mutual learning. They are possible to the extent that they share venues and familiarity of view on the role of ENR in society (Cointe, 2013).
Where the end of a national policy should spell the end of PV plants on the ground, these facilities continue to see emerge. And while GGEF leave solar farms segment with lower feed-in tariffs, SMEs ENR, partly resulting from the Alternative, continued to invest in this type of energy, whose they are nowadays major producers. Empowering SMEs ENR has increased through their specialization in the integration of solar farms in natural environments. However, they are not a complete break with the dominant energy model of the Sector. Hybridization forms, by the upstream or downstream, is combined with the centralized energy structures. Dynamic sorting and learning are made not in the competition between operators, but in the specialization of space types and adaptation. Infrastructure under one actually looks different spatial planning and links with local companies modes.
KEY WORDS: solar farms, photovoltaic, professional, learning, territorialisation.
Promotion of offshore wind farms: Local mobilization and national lobbying to simplify legal frameworks to promote renewable marine energy.
Nicolas BENVEGNU (Sciences Po Paris/Médialab)
Until recently, the sociology of mobilization has primarily focused on an analysis of social
movements that based themselves on highlighting a problematic situation and advocating for a given policy or project that responds to resolving the issue at hand. Campaigns like NIMBY (Not in my backyard) have become key examples in studying local resistance movements that oppose development projects that while beneficial to the greater good, are too close for comfort. The sociology of mobilization focuses on social movements opposed to projects. This paper will to explore movements that promote projects by using different scales of mobilization to achieve a common goal. This movement is being invoked within the industrial sector in response to offshore wind farms in France and the United Kingdom. The contribution uses through three original areas to promote its goal: engagement and mobilization by developing localized critical approach of empowerment procedures; evaluating the weight of these mobilizations within regulatory frameworks and public policies to be used at various levels in support of industrial development of marine renewable energies; contribution to a socio-economic analysis of energy transition by focusing on renewing part of electrical production sources.
This text proposes taking into considering actions of local businesses by local actors as well as socio-economic (chambers of commerce, business-oriented networks, unions) and political actions (locally elected officials) that demonstrate to national public authorities and project leaders that their territory is attractive. These actors prove that locally implemented actions can work to ensure the best possible reception and rollout of an offshore wind power project in a competitive territorial context. What follows is a shift in focus away from previous studies of NIMBY, towards PIMBY (Please in my back yard) (Benvegnu, 2014). The analysis examines national mobilizations that intervene to lobby in favor of the legal frameworks and regulations necessary to develop projects within a new industrial sector. Industries and their representatives (renewable energy unions in France, RenweableUK in Great Britain) use lobbying to gain guaranties from national authorities that limit the risks their investors may incur. It is along these lines that a law on energy transition adopted in France by the National Assembly on October 14th 2014 has sought to facilitate investment by simplifying and clarifying the procedures that had previously hampered economic actors. (Section VII of the drafted bill). This paper demonstrates, for example, how French government’s calls for tenders on offshore wind farms in 2011 and 2013, awarded based on tenders and regardless of public debate thus violating the spirit of the Environment Code, the cornerstone policy of information and public participation in France. Lastly, the paper shows how mobilizations in support of projects work not only to create favorable developmental conditions, They also have the effect of marginalizing the opposition. The result is a labeling of “NIMBY syndrome” that discredits opposing sides of a project and stifles debate.
KEY WORDS: industrial sector, marine renewable energy, mobilization, lobbying, participation.
The story of oil in Argentina, the case of the oil company YPF or national company, the neoliberal triumph and the “recovery” popular.
Federico U. BIETTI (ENS of Cachan/IDHES)
The aim of this article is to introduce the Argentinean petroleum company YPF (fiscal oil fields) which was expropriated or “recuperated” (according to the native language) in 2012 by the government of Argentina. This is a presentation of the company according to the history of local oil and energy development. To this end, after a general presentation we will analyse in detail the levels of production, distribution and commercialisation of oil and gas –both conventional and schist-, the administration of the company throughout its history since its creation in 1922, and the role of the company in relation to the economic development strategies of the country. We will analyse also the different discourses which shape and have shaped the complex history of this enterprise that is not “only a company” of the energy sector, but a main actor for the economic and the social culture of Argentina. YPF represents, in the symbolic universe or the social imaginary of Argentines, the project of development of the liberal-nationalist. Against the power of the North American and European companies, YPF must have served as guarantee for “the moral and economic progress of the nation” and for the self-sufficiency in terms of oil and gas in the words of the first president of the company, General Enrique Mosconi.
KEY WORDS: oil and gas, energetic resources, argentine, petroleum company, YPF abstract.
Contesting the energy transition: symbolic and political influences of the energy intensive industries in the elaboration of the Swedish electronuclear policy.
Téva MEYER (Paris 8 University/CRAG)
While electricity production in Sweden is already almost carbon-free, the future of nuclear energy in the country’s energy transition (energiomställning) is disputed. Prohibited by law in 1981, the development of atomic energy had been reauthorized by the center-right government in 2011. Today, this decision is challenged by the newly elected left administration. The 2014 election campaign, which lengthily focused on the future of the country’s energy supply, permitted to clearly identify the system of actors involved in the conflict over the use of nuclear power. This time-phase allowed us to underline one singularity of the Swedish situation, i.e. the intense activity of the energy intensive industries (or Basindustri) in the debate, individually, or through their professional organizations. The Basindustri usually gathers four fields: pulp and paper industries, mining, steel industries and chemical industries. This communication will investigate their roles and actions in the debate.
We will demonstrate that the industries’ influence take multiple shapes. As concerned actors, energy incentive companies try to direct the legislative process by lobbying through the different associations that they manage, or by activating their network in the political sphere. This point will constitute the first part of this intervention. But their greatest influence seems to be indirect. Considered as consubstantial to the construction of Modern Sweden, the Basindustri benefit from a strong symbolic power in the eyes of politicians. Their activity, based on the access to cheap and abundant energy, is considered to be the guarantor of the Welfare State. Furthermore, while Sweden inhabitants are mainly concentrated on the south coastal areas, the Basindustri are established in depopulated and shrinking communities. Their presence is perceived as necessary to maintain a population in every parts of the national territory. Thus, more than through their direct actions, the industries’ influence seems to rest upon the representations, historically and geographically constructed, that politicians have of them. These researches will be explained in a second part of this proposition.
This communication will be based on the results of a 4 months research trip made in early 2014 in Sweden and on an unpublished corpus of maps.
KEY WORDS: conflicts, nuclear energy, sweden, companies, representations.
The Transfer of Expert Knowledge from Nuclear Production to Nuclear Decommissioning in Eastern Germany.
Sergiu NOVAC (Central European University, Budapest)
The company ‘Energiewerke Nord Gmbh’ (EWN) is the largest player dealing with nuclear decommissioning on the German market. Its headquarters are located at the Baltic Sea, next to the city of Greifswald, and the company declares itself the legal successor of the Greifswald nuclear power plant. This was the only operational plant of this kind in the GDR. By the end of the 1980s the four Soviet built water pressure reactors were covering over 10% of the total electricity demand of the country. The plan was to expand the capacities to eight reactors, which would have made it the largest nuclear power plant in the world. By 1989, reactor 5 was already finished and tests were being run to put it on grid, while reactor 6 was in its final design phase. However, during the process of the German reunification and despite the fact that the entire region was economically dependent of the plant, the Soviet reactors were deemed unsafe by the West German government and it was decided to completely shut down the power plant. EWN, the new entity established in 1990, immediately after the shut-down, was initially supposed to take over the decommissioning of all the Soviet type nuclear facilities of the former GDR, which included Greifswald, the much smaller experimental plant at Rheinsberg and the research reactor of the Institute of Nuclear Research of the GDR in Rossendorf, near Dresden. Gradually, EWN grew and took over other important decommissioning projects inside of Germany (in Karlsruhe and Jülich), but also became involved in projects abroad (for instance the Ignalina power plant in Lithuania or the clean-up of the nuclear submarine graveyard in Murmansk, Russia). It is also expected that through the final decision from 2011 of the German federal government to completely phase out its nuclear energy production program, EWN will keep growing and will take over several other large scale decommissioning projects.
This paper will focus on a narrow slice of this intricate story, namely the early development of the company in terms of expertise. It will not only ask who the people behind the establishment and growth of EWN were, but also how did they get in this position? A notable detail is the fact that the main actors involved in this process came from the West German nuclear industry and in particular from the company Nukem, which the West German government had dissolved in the late 80s, following several high level corruption scandals. Therefore, the paper will look at how the opening up of the East German industry also created a laboratory for putting together an enterprise that could not function in the same way in Western Germany.
KEY WORDS: nuclear decommissioning, networks of expertise, transfer of knowledge, eastern Germany.