Cristian Timmermann
Universität Augsburg
Achieving energy sovereignty is increasingly gaining prominence as a goal in energy politics. The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual analysis of this principle from an ethics and social justice perspective. We rely on the literature on food sovereignty to identify through a comparative analysis the elements energy sovereignty will most likely demand and thereafter distinguish the unique constituencies of the energy sector. The idea of energy sovereignty embraces a series of values, among which we identified: (i) accessibility, to allow access to everyone, (ii) empowerment and recognition, to develop and sustain capabilities to collaboratively produce solution-oriented energy system knowledge and effectively participate in governance, (iii) stewardship and sustainability, to be able to design and manage decentralised renewable systems in view of protecting the environment, (iv) self-sufficiency, to reduce the negative shocks of exploitative business practises, (v) resilience, to maintain production capacities while withstanding socioeconomic, political, environmental and climatic shocks, (vi) peace, to establish production systems that do not involve hostile relations, (vii) transparency and self-determination, to establish democratic decision-making mechanisms that give a voice to previously underrepresented groups and limit corporate takeover (viii) gender-justice, by acknowledging the contributions of women and eliminate barriers to their empowerment. With a conceptual framework of energy sovereignty, we present a rationale that draws on the key values to be considered when formulating policy solutions for the energy sector.
Keywords empowerment  self-determination  energy policy  self-subsistence  sustainability
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