Renewable energy labour: A value-theoretic approach

Authors: Gareth Bryant*, University of Sydney, Rebecca Pearse, University of Sydney
Topics: Economic Geography, Energy, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Value, Labor, energy, renewables, electricity
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

The adoption of renewable energy is changing the conditions and organisation of labour in energy industries. Marxist-inspired theories of value provide a useful vantage point for analysing and evaluating the distributive implications of decarbonisation. Our paper develops a value theory of labour in renewable energy by outlining five inter-linked dimensions of value: wage labour, underground labour, social regulation, spatiality and technics. Using evidence from the renewable energy industry in Australia, we consider the competing dynamics of justice and subordination in different configurations of renewable energy as capital, and alternatives.

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