Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Energy Solutions - the social aspects of planning with the community November 24-27, 2009, SOAC Conference, University of Western Australia,"— Presentation transcript:
Sustainable Energy Solutions - the social aspects of planning with the community November 24-27, 2009, SOAC Conference, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA
AGENDA Contextual Background – Collaborative Planning Evaluative Analyses – Deliberative Process Conclusions – Research & Practice
Project Background “Intelligent Grid-Distributed Energy” – CSIRO. Efficient Electricity Grid – Low Emission! Social Aspects: Planning - Sustainable Energy. ENERGY GOVERNANCE – Public Participation - Planning - energy security - regional communities! Deliberative process & outcomes – Western Power. Abelson’s (2003) Deliberative Evaluative Framework!
Context – Power Working Group Western Power – 2 regional SW region. Outrage – Blackouts – Loss Income. Edge of Grid – Reliability. Establishment - Public Participation: Typical stakeholders (Shire, Business, Government/NGOs). 14 Community A - 3 Community B Representation - Impacts. Representatives - Expertise.
Characteristics - Represenatives Community A - Environmental activists & supporters – Values green solutions! Community B -Councillor, CEO, Govt – Neutral – Social/Economic. WIN – Halt ‘Power Lines’ Feasibility – Local RE AGENDA – Learning Curve.
PROCEDURAL ASPECTS - FORUMS CHAIRED - steep learning curve. OBSERVE - feedback – Model. ISSUE – PROBLEMMATIC: Representation – Differed Markedly: 14 V 3 representatives. Human & Social Capital – Community A - Expertise RE systems. knowledge & resources! Early Adopters – political network. Entrepreneurs - energy initiatives.
Community Expertise & Facilitation Energy Efficient Educational Facility; Government funding - community- owned wind farm. Community A - numbers, status & expertise – influence – initiatives. Community B less numbers & expertise – reliant facilitation skills! CONSENSUS – feasibility planning Deliberation - fair procedural process.
Facilitation & Power Dynamics Community B – Aspirations ignored! - Disempowerment & alienation – Disengage! Acknowledged - uneven power dynamics! CHANGE -power relationship “institution & community”. INCORPORATED local knowledge - major cultural shift - governance relations! INFLUENCE – management! Satisfied - governance & energy goals!
Incorporating Diverse Needs & Interests BUSINESS: power– applications rejected. Social & economic- planning framework. Sustainability- environmental, social, economic and governance! “consensus is not necessary – but an effective deliberation process must include exposure of conflicts to provide the opportunity to understand it, in order to move respectfully (Carson, 2009). “… without a very inclusive sample, the process will lack credibility amongst those who should be influenced” (Carson & Hartz-Karp, 2005).
Outcomes Community Engagement Work in Progress – E.g. Trust - positive relationship! Empowered – responsive - Aspirations! SPARKED - Educational initiatives - awareness -EE - RE technologies. Proactive - community-wide approach - energy sensitive behavioural change! Lobbying- Regulatory & Institutional constraints!
Positive Outcomes Socio-political & institutional – “cultural transformation of mindset” - alternative solutions. FLEXIBLE – options - coal fired power! POSITIVE - individual, community & societal! PROCEDURAL- transparent & accountable. visions & priorities! INEQUITY & UNDER-REPRESENTATION: Location; Chair – rotated; Feedback & Input; Diverse Representation – Local Media
Community Engagement Practitioners VIGILANT -power & inclusivity. DESIGNED - procedural justice! FAILINGS – beneficial - EE solutions. Institutional – mindset changes - community aspirations - sustainable energy transition! Community A – Leading – Strategies – Behavioural Changes – Reduce Consumption & GHG emissions! FORUM - collaborative planning – groundwork -acceptance -alternative energy solutions.
Barriers – Sustainable Energy Planning DEMONSTRATE - economic growth not curtailed fierce local opposition. DILEMMA - Twin Demands: - Reducing ghg emissions & energy consumption Growth – energy demand. Political pressures: green sector – frustrated -small scale efforts! pro-development – planning – inability – current & future growing energy needs.
Conclusion PRECARIOUS – Plan Energy Security – Options – NOT constrain Economy Regions! COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT – VITAL – Strategies! DIFFICULTIES – Opportunity – Community Ownership – Planning Future! RESEARCH – “dynamics at play” – Civil Society Sectors! SOCIALLY JUST - process and outcome - most vulnerable in the power of politics!
Thank you For more information on the iGrid Research program: The website address is This forms part of our overall communications strategy. The website is a vehicle for dissemination cluster research findings and to facilitate the engagement with key industry stakeholders.