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The material dimensions of renewable energy deployment: understanding spatially uneven processes at the regional level in Italy and the UK

De Laurentis, Carla 2018. The material dimensions of renewable energy deployment: understanding spatially uneven processes at the regional level in Italy and the UK. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis examines the processes of transformation underway within energy systems, specifically the move towards a higher share of renewable energy technologies. It aims to improve our understanding of the regional level and its role in shaping the pace and direction of renewable energy deployment. It proposes a novel way of researching renewable energy deployment - at the regional level -by investigating the evolving relationship between energy and materiality. It argues that the deployment of renewable energy, the process of turning renewable ‘natural resources’ into productive use as viable forms of energy through stages of energy conversion, storage, transmission and distribution has material aspects like those involved in the deployment of fossil fuels. This thesis considers the role of natural resources, investigating their implicit physical and partially socially produced nature and identifies several material dimensions of renewable energy discussing how they matter, why it is important to give them consideration and unpacking the different ways in which they matter. It develops an analytical and conceptual framework and its application and testing in the regions of Apulia, Tuscany and Sardinia, in Italy, and Wales and Scotland, in the UK. Drawing on the empirical material gathered this research shows how the various material dimensions of renewable energy have affected its spatial distribution and deployment. The thesis shows, by focusing on solar and wind energy, how the significant spatial variations in renewable energy deployment in the case study regions can be explained in terms of the influence of a number of material dimensions. This thesis aims to show how understanding these aspects of renewable energy offers an opportunity to unpack and explain how particular renewable energy paths come to be favoured or hampered, and yields useful insights into the spatial unevenness and variation of renewable energy deployment at the regional level.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: renewable energy; regional; Italy; UK; technologies
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Welsh School of Architecture
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 November 2018
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2018 11:57
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/117095

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