Energy Justice Challenges and Scalar Dimensions of Renewable Energy Projects in Arizona, USA and Zacatecas, Mexico

Authors: Stephanie Buechler*, University of Arizona - Udall Center and Geography & Development, Karina Martinez, University of Arizona, Veronica Vazquez Garcia, Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo, Mexico
Topics: Energy, Women, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Energy Justice, renewable energy, women, water, energy project scale
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper will present the findings of a bi-national applied research project related to women's experiences with large and small-scale renewable energy projects. The research sites were in urban, peri-urban and rural locations near Tucson in the state of Arizona in the U.S. Southwest and near Zacatecas city in the state of Zacatecas in northern Mexico. Both areas are semi-arid; water, especially for livelihoods, requires energy to access and heating domestic water also requires energy. A focus on energy justice issues, in particular, women and poverty, in this study shed light on how renewable energy projects geared around water fit in with other household or community sustainable development initiatives and how low-income women or organizations working to assist low-income women molded these projects around women’s daily lives and livelihoods. The scale of the solar and wind energy project (utility-scale versus community and household-scale), the level and type of involvement of the women in the project and the support of non-profit and governmental organizations made a difference in the ability of the project to meet women’s needs and to become well integrated into other sustainable development projects. The findings of this applied research have implications for renewable energy policy and program formulation.

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