From private to public governance: The case for reconfiguring energy systems as a commons

Energy Res Soc Sci. 2020 Dec;70:101737. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101737. Epub 2020 Aug 13.


The discussions around the unsustainability of the dominant socio-economic structures have yet to produce solutions to address the escalating problems we face as a species. Such discussions, this paper argues, are hindered by the limited scope of the proposed solutions within a business-as-usual context as well as by the underlying technological rationale upon which these solutions are developed. In this paper, we conceptualize a radical sustainable alternative to the energy conundrum based on an emerging mode of production and a commons-based political economy. We propose a commons-oriented Energy Internet as a potential system for energy production and consumption, which may be better suited to tackle the current issues society faces. We conclude by referring to some of the challenges that the implementation of such a proposal would entail.

Keywords: Commons; Energy internet; Energy politics; Peer-to-peer; Post-growth; Public policy.

Publication types

  • Review