From April 14 to June 30, 2017, Dr. Ludger Gailing (prov. head of the IRS Research Department "Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods") will conduct research at the Durham Energy Institute and the Department of Geography at Durham University. This stay abroad is made possible by a "senior research fellowship" of the University, which is supported within the COFUND-scheme of the European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions). The stay in Durham is part of Gailing's habilitation project "Reconfiguring Energy Spaces: The Role of Spatial Governmentalities and Competing Socio-Materialities" at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
The project examines the spatial organisation of energy transitions directing the focus towards aspects of “energy spaces” and new geographies of energy. The concept of energy spaces does not only refer to spatial aspects of infrastructures like power plants and grids. Instead, it also points to energy governance (national, regional, urban), the formation of energy landscapes and the shifting relations between energy policies and energy industries. Key insights from this geographical perspective are the production of space in energy transitions, multi-scalar relations in the energy sector, and the socio-materiality of energy transitions.
In Durham Gailing will closely collaborate with Professor Gavin Bridge and Professor Harriet Bulkeley in order to discuss and evaluate the current status of his habilitation project, to explore prospective cases of both old and new energy spaces in the UK in order to allow comparisons between the two countries, and to write an article shaping the theoretical approach of “energy spaces”, comparing and bringing together the conceptual approaches of energy geographies in the UK and in Germany.