Most energy transition reporting narrowly focuses on technology stories. When journalists do occasionally write about energy transition policy and politics, they tend to limit the framing to a particular type of energy technology, such as drilling for oil or putting up a new wind farm.
What if this technological tunnel vision is causing us to overlook the most important aspects of the energy transition? If the most transformative and enduring aspects of transition end up being policy and investment, especially at the local level, these topics rarely get the discussion they deserve. Instead of focusing on flashy technologies like hydrogen and nuclear power, should we also give equal attention to unglamorous solutions like insulation and wider sidewalks? What if the things we need most have no natural champions in industry or political leadership? If so, who will advocate for them?
Our guest in this episode is a researcher who has thought deeply about rebalancing the energy transition conversation. Dr. Marie Claire Brisbois of the University of Sussex draws from her work on power, politics and influence to suggest important changes that we need to make to our institutions of governance and our investment strategies to realize the energy transition’s full potential. It’s a thoughtful, out-of-the-box discussion that will give you much to think about!
Dr. Marie Claire Brisbois is a Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), and Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex. Her work examines questions of power, politics and influence in energy, water and climate governance contexts. She also works on broader issues of social change and public participation in low carbon transitions.
Previously, Marie Claire worked with Natural Resources Canada, and the University of Waterloo in Canada. She has consulted on technical and policy-level water and climate issues in Latin America and Canada. She also has extensive experience in teaching, community building and facilitation through work with Waterlution, the Sierra Club of Canada, and the University of Waterloo.
On Twitter: @mcbrisb
On the Web: Marie Claire’s profile at University of Sussex
Recording date: March 6, 2023
Air date: April 19, 2023
Geek rating: 2