The impact of precarious security conditions on renewable electrification: The case of the West Bank

Oshri Mitzva*, Itay Fischhendler, Lior Herman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent energy-related writing has highlighted the spatiality of renewable energy and its possible affinity to geopolitics. Yet, energy geography and geopolitics literature lack reference to security and how it may shape the energy landscape. This study unpacks the elusive concepts of security and territoriality and operationalizes them into measurable variables. Using statistical and qualitative methods, including an original dataset based on planning and building protocols, this study tests the interplay between security conditions and territoriality on renewable energy adoption. It examines the case study of the contested Area C territory in the West Bank, within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The findings show that precarious security conditions discourage renewable energy diffusion, particularly when security is linked to territorial conflict. As land-intensive infrastructures, renewable energy systems challenge territorial claims. This study demonstrates how space acts as an intermediate variable connecting security concerns with the diffusion of renewable technology. Security interests use spatial planning as a key mechanism to negatively influence on renewable energy diffusion in contested territory, such as Area C, where power asymmetry heavily leans to the advantage of one party. These findings contradict the argument that renewable energy is a catalyst for peace building. They show how renewable energy projects create inequalities and are often held hostage by the territorial dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number102626
JournalPolitical Geography
Volume97
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Palestinians
  • Renewable energy
  • Security
  • Territoriality
  • West bank

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