Energy-place assemblages in action: Creating capacities for just transitions to decarbonisation in the North East of England
Brett is a PhD researcher in human geography in the School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University. His research project funded by the North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP), looks at the social, political, and economic impacts of transitions to decarbonisation in the North East of England, focusing on local community place-based relations in the coastal town of Blyth, Northumberland.
Blyth along with other places in the North East are well-known for their historical legacies in fossil fuel industries, and now increasingly offshore and onshore wind, solar PV, mine water heating, biogas generation, and EV battery technologies. In working with citizens as well as the public, private, voluntary, and charitable sectors, the project seeks to unite multiple conceptual frameworks for justice to understand what ‘just transitions’ for ‘left behind’ places in the North East would look like in practice.
To do this it utilises an ‘assemblage participatory research’ (APR) approach that combines assemblage theory with participatory research. Using this methodology, the project aims to identify and understand the potential capacities between different components that make up a socio-technical energy transition, and how they interact or could interact with place-community assemblages to achieve justice.