A Human-Centric Aapproach to Energy Justice: Embedding Agency and Capabilities in Transitions Discourse

Stuti Haldar, Amir Bashir Bazaz  | 30 May 2024 

This paper addresses the critical gap in understanding the justice implications of renewable energy transitions, particularly concerning the agency of different actor groups, including marginalised and local communities. Given urgency of transitioning to renewables to mitigate climate risks, it highlights the need for more human centric approaches to ensure equitable outcomes. To bridge this gap, the study proposes a theoretical framework centered on the capability approach, human agency, and energy justice. This framework demonstrates how capability sets shape human agency and influence the trajectory of transitions. Through a case study of the Pavagada Solar Power Park in India, the study exemplifies the practical application of this framework, exploring how policy interventions can enhance capability sets and empower communities throughout transition processes. By surfacing the mechanisms through which capability enhancement can foster more just outcomes, this research seeks to inform policymakers, practitioners, and scholars navigating the complexities of just energy transitions. Overall, this study contributes to advancing the discourse on energy justice and offers actionable insights for achieving more equitable and resilient energy transition pathways.