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Energy Transition and Social Movements: The Rise of a Community Choice Movement in California

  • Ida Dokk SmithEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the rise of a community choice movement in California. Here local governments launch community choice aggregation programs, one after the other, that promise higher renewable energy content than the existing investor-owned utilities. I view the movement as an expression of local climate interests fused with anti-utility resentment, and use the three lenses from social movement theory—political opportunities, mobilizing structures and framing processes—to analyze the emergence and development of the movement. This bottom-up process unfolds in a state that has some of the most ambitious climate policies and renewable energy goals in the US. The effectiveness of the community choice model as a climate policy tool is contested. However, the movement’s aim is not only to decarbonize the electricity system but to build an electricity system that utilizes more local renewable energy resources.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I want to thank the American-Scandinavian Foundation and Centre for International Climate and Energy Policy (CICEP) for financial support to conduct fieldwork in California spring 2017. I am grateful to all of those whom I interviewed for taking the time out of their busy schedules and to Jeremy Waen for commenting on an early draft.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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