Sleek wind turbines a daily blur on the drive to work. Forgotten hydroelectric stations emerge from behind mountains during a long hike. Years after completion, a wind farm’s engineer remembers the surrounding countryside fondly.
Months after a class excursion, a student recollects the vastness of the turbine’s interior. Imagining their own wind farm, a group of local residents gather in the early morning light to see the hills through the eyes of the local bird population.
Renewable energy is increasingly playing a role in our everyday lives. The infrastructures and technologies that generate and transport electricity are increasingly visible, whether in the places we call home or those we encounter on our travels.
Sometimes mundane, sometimes extraordinary; sometimes a constant presence, sometimes a surprise; often in the present, but sometimes in the past or the future – sites of energy generation are diverse, contested and inseparable from the world around us. They can act as both backdrop and foreground to our activities, experiences, expectations and emotions.
No two energy places are the same. Likewise, no two perspectives are the same. Personal stories and connections with environments differ drastically. Two people can often see a single place very differently and in ways that don’t lend themselves well to written or spoken language.
To illustrate the diversity of these place-experiences, whether constituted by a feeling of ease or alienation, we have launched a collective inquiry into energy places.