Digitalisation and social inclusion in multi-scalar smart energy transitions
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSareen, S. (2021) Digitalisation and social inclusion in multi-scalar smart energy transitions. Energy Research & Social Science, 81, 102251. 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102251
Activity generated around smart energy transitions risks undermining a basic spatial planning principle: create better places for inhabitants. The possibilities unleashed by digitalisation have enigmatic force. Stepping back from this techno-centrism, this article asks: where are the people in these visions? How can energy sector digitalisation become people-centric and inclusive? It employs a multi-scalar approach to examine social inclusion in case studies of two smart energy transitions: electricity sector digitalisation in Lisbon, and mobility sector digitalisation in Bergen. This reveals how planning and implementing sustainability transitions can exacerbate existing inequalities, but equally offers opportunities to enable inclusive smart energy transitions.