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Social engagement and socio-genesis of energy poverty as a problem in Spain

Sanz-Hernández, Alexia
Energy policy 2019 v.124 pp. 286-296
analytical methods, energy, energy policy, energy poverty, energy resources, public policy, qualitative analysis, Spain
The current paper provides an in-depth analysis of actors’ engagement and its impact on the conceptualization and social perception of energy poverty, its analysis and the design of energy and social policies to confront it.Energy poverty in Spain is mentioned from 2012, conceptualized in 2013 and amplified, becoming socially visible, from 2014, when the phenomenon was quantified after the country deficient condition deterioration. Until 2017, the different actors express themselves through media, generating an impact that has been studied from a mixed design combining contents analysis with qualitative analysis. A triple analytical approach: chronological, thematic and ‘of actors’ has been applied to 487 journalistic articles and press releases.In conclusion, the actual impact of engagement is defined in three fundamental aspects: the establishment of a social base knowledge about energy poverty; the contribution to socializing and mobilizing dynamics which led to institutional response and decisions making at different levels of social and energy policies; and, thirdly, to the creation of a collective framework of understanding and confrontation of the problem of unequal access to energy resources, which has fostered debate and reflection around energy unfairness and acknowledgement of energy vulnerability.