Contested energy futures: Shaping renewable energy narratives in Australia
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Narratives and discourses are central to how we interpret and understand the world. The capacity to construct and disseminate compelling stories about particular issues is hence critical to an agent's capacity to advance their interests. This paper examines some of the main narratives through which the conversation about renewable energy in Australia takes place. We label these narratives feasibility ('Pie in the Sky'); security ('Keeping the Lights on'); cost ('Costing the Earth'); and employment ('Jobs Carnage'). Some of the most effective narratives are those that are constructed around some of the 'legitimate' concerns that pertain to an issue. The renewable energy narratives identified in this paper build on 'reasonableness' and 'common sense' concerns, and their effectiveness is determined as much by contextualising information absent from the energy conversation as present. While our focus is Australia, some of the narrative dynamics revealed have application to energy politics more broadly.
Global Environmental Change
© 2012 Elsevier Inc. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.