Christos Giotitsas

Title: 'Towards the Energy Commons? A Critical Approach'

Supervisor: Dr. Vasilis Kostakis

Opponents: Dr. George Dafermos, National Institute of Higher Studies, Quito, Ecuador

Piret Tõnurist, MA, Junior research fellow

Defense: 5 September 2014


Abstract: The point this essay is trying to convey is that in order for energy to evolve from being a commodity into a Commons we cannot simply rest until the technological level for energy production reaches a threshold where it is cheap enough for this to be possible. The conditions arguably need to be created. Research towards technology that provides everyone free access to the means for cheap, clean energy should be promoted instead of market-based mechanisms that treat energy as a means for profit-making. Distributed, renewable energy can have negative effects both on a social and an environmental level, such as dispossession of rural communities or harming wildlife, when capital accumulation is the ultimate goal. Further, it is apparent that technology cannot be expected to solve all any dimensions of the energy problem on its own.

Keywords: Commons-based peer production, energy production, renewable energy, ICT, smart-grids, centralized and decentralized energy systems