Embedding Social Responsibility in the Design of Offshore Wind Energy Systems

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Abstract

The development of offshore wind energy systems is a complex challenge from a technical, socio-economic, ethical and legal perspective. The proposed paper elaborates a general framework for systematically embedding social responsibility into the technical and institutional design of offshore wind energy systems. Taking a systems perspective we investigate how values can be embedded in the technical design of offshore energy systems in relation to other surrounding (energy) systems and beyond. Thereby we use a value sensitive design approach. Here, the empirical basis is given by the current development of offshore wind in the Netherlands and the values and conflicts articulated by various stakeholder groups. The conceptual framework is provided by the capability approach. It will be argued that the capability approach is particularly well suited for addressing ethical issues in the context of energy supply (and demand) as it allows taking into account positive and negative aspects of various energy technologies, while also including their positive aspects in the terms of freedom of action. In this respect, a capability perspective distinguishes itself from various other forms of ethical assessments that predominantly focus on the negative impacts of technology. We will sketch how the institutional design of offshore wind energy systems addresses the regulation and governance of the energy sector in relation to the ethical requirements that arise in a value sensitive design approach as sketched above.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
EventAnnual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2013 - Washintgon DC, USA, San Diego, United States
Duration: 9 Oct 201312 Oct 2013

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period9/10/1312/10/13

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    Hillerbrand, R., Oosterlaken, I., Kunneke, R., & Hemmes, K. (2013). Embedding Social Responsibility in the Design of Offshore Wind Energy Systems. Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2013, San Diego, United States.