Lorenzo De Vidovich is a sociologist, research fellow at the University of Trieste, and PhD in urban studies at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at Politecnico di Milano. His main fields of interest are energy transition, energy poverty, and welfare policies, with a particular reference to suburbs and peripheries. He is also investigating the social and spatial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in suburban areas. In 2021, he has been project manager for the applied research “Community Energy Map”, carried out by RSE (Ricerca Sistema Energetico) and Luiss Business School.
Lecture – Energy transition, social (in)justice and the role of renewable energy communities
The lecture revolves around two pivotal issues addressed by social researchers with reference to energy transition and energy systems seen as socio-technical systems: the social injustices that lie behind the pathway towards energy transition and decarbonization, and the fundamental role that can be played by renewable energy communities (RECs) in tackling such injustices, by involving the end-users in the co-production and sharing of renewable energy, and by also acting as a possible solution to combat energy poverty. In this respect, the lecture is organized as follows: first, it discusses the interplay between the social and the environmental crisis (and how this combination may affect some vulnerable groups); second, it addresses how the dissemination of renewable energies, for energy saving and energy efficiency, may favour or disadvantage weaker social groups and marginal territories; third, it presents RECs as innovative experimentations able to involve a plethora of actors – even the marginalized ones – towards the development of community-based initiatives in the energy supply from renewable sources, by also outlining the current framework for the development of RECs in Italy.