Barry University

To develop a place-based just energy transition framework by undertaking four community-engaged case studies in Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania

  • Amount $499,820
  • City Miami Shores, FL
  • Investigator Nadia Ahmad
  • Year 2022
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Energy and Environment

Different communities have unique histories with local energy systems, stand in different relationships to local policymakers, and face different threats related to climate change. Implementing sensible, effective policies for ensuring just energy transitions will thus require the development of local solutions that take these factors into account. This grant funds work by a team led by legal scholar Nadia Ahmad of Barry University and Elise Harrington of the University of Minnesota to develop conceptual frameworks that tie together both place-based and overarching considerations that can inform how just energy transitions might occur across multiple localities. Ahmad, Harrington, and their team will conduct a series of interviews and community-level focus groups in four states (Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania) to better understand the place-based dynamics of energy transitions and to illuminate the multiple theoretical dimensions of energy justice. The resulting case studies will highlight different challenges for place-based energy transition policymaking, including the relationship between urban and rural areas, tradeoffs associated with agricultural and industrial land use, re-use of existing energy infrastructure, and local climate resilience efforts. In each case, the team will partner with local community organizations who will help co-develop interview questions, refine the developing conceptual framework, create opportunities for collaborative outputs, and determine how this research can directly benefit local communities. The project is expected to contribute to a growing body of scholarship on energy transitions, facilitate interstate learning in policy design, and advance greater inclusion of place-based considerations in state and federal energy transition initiatives.

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