Unraveling Banners of Resistance - A case-study on the sustainable energy transition in Wijnjewoude (Friesland, The Netherlands).
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This thesis explores social, historical, and political processes behind the banners of resistance regarding the sustainable energy transition in Wijnjewoude. Wijnjewoude Energie Neutraal (WEN) is a bottom-up citizens’ initiative in the Frisian village Wijnjewoude that aims to make their village energy neutral in 2025. The state has chosen them as one of the pilot projects in order to become a gas-free neighborhood. With a 4.3 million euro subsidy, they have the freedom to shape the local energy transition by themselves. However, noticeable local resistance regarding the envisioned sustainable energy infrastructures by WEN obstructs the transition. I uncover this resistance by focusing on anthropological debates regarding energy ethics on different scales, infrastructures as active social and political sites, and via the concept of energy democracy. This case study provides answers on how the sustainable energy project WEN is negotiated and contested upon in Wijnjewoude, Friesland (The Netherlands), via the theoretical local cultural concepts of draagvlak and Mienskip. It demonstrates a local-specific example of what we should focus on when we aim to implement sustainable energy transitions with limited contestation.