Spatial Analysis of Energy Poverty Vulnerabilities: Characterizing Spatial Injustices in Classifications and Solutions

Authors: Joshua Randall*, North Carolina State Univeristy
Topics: Energy, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Recreational and Sport Geography
Keywords: Energy, energy poverty, spatial analysis, vulnerability
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Cleveland 2, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Energy poverty is a multifaceted problem that occurs in many households across the world and is often cited as the inability to afford household energy. However, many areas experience a unique blend of complex histories, social inequalities, and political legacies that interact with and perpetuate energy poverty beyond income. These factors spatially overlap in ways that are difficult to untangle, and make solutions difficult to navigate.

The lived experiences of energy poverty constantly change, leading to the development of energy poverty vulnerability frameworks. These typologize expressions of energy poverty (i.e. accessible grids, good housing stock) without characterizing the energy condition of individual households at any given time. Energy poverty vulnerabilities are uneven across space, as are the solutions. While GIS and spatial analysis have aided in characterizing the spatial components of energy poverty, there remains there remains gaps in how to deal with the spatial justice implications of energy poverty vulnerabilities.

Understanding that energy poverty vulnerabilities are broadly driven by geography, this work identifies a framework for characterizing the justice implications of a spatial analysis of vulnerabilities. Through a conceptual review of previous work in three areas -- spatial analysis, energy poverty vulnerabilities, and spatial justice -- this work will identify ways in which spatial justice has been framed in analysis of and solutions for energy poverty. Through this review, these gaps are investigated and recommendations made into how energy poverty vulnerabilities can be conceptualized and handled in a just way.

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