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Post-conventional energy futures: Rendering Europe's shale gas resources governable
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8110-4538
2017 (English)In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 31, 32-40 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Following the shale gas boom in the United States, unconventional natural gas extracted from organic-rich shale rock formations has generated increasing attention in the European Union (EU). This considerable interest has been spurred by a range of optimistic volumetric appraisals of shale gas resource potential trapped beneath the European continent. The paper critically examines rationalities and practices through which states of resource availability and recoverability are made visible, measurable, intelligible, and thus rendered governable, namely open to new fields of possibilities to act upon. By implementing the concept of socio-technical imaginaries as governmentality approach, the analysis is guided by two objectives: first, to identify visions of shale gas potential contained in a range of resource estimates; second, to scrutinize rationalities of government, that is how shale gas resources are made knowable and purposeful, as well as technologies of government that operationalize these rationalities via practices of calculation, visualization, and inscription. The paper illustrates that, these highly speculative and uncertain assessments can forge powerful volumetric imaginaries of shale gas potential that yield specific governing effects concerned with securitization of unconventional hydrocarbons availability. Consequently, these imaginaries prescribe and legitimize techno-political hopes for certain post-conventional energy futures underpinning the fossil fuel abundance narrative.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 31, 32-40 p.
Keyword [en]
Shale gas, Sociotechnical imaginaries, Governmentality, Europe
National Category
Energy Systems Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science; Earth Science with specialization in Environmental Analysis; Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329608DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.05.028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-329608DiVA: diva2:1142428
Projects
Fractures in the EU energy future: at the crossroad between security, transition and governance
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2015-455
Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-19 Last updated: 2017-10-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2019-06-07 00:01
Available from 2019-06-07 00:01

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Kuchler, Magdalena

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