Placing Green Energy in the Sea: Offshore Wind Farms, Dolphins, Oysters, and the Territorial Politics of the Intertidal Zone in Taiwan

Journal Article

Title: Placing Green Energy in the Sea: Offshore Wind Farms, Dolphins, Oysters, and the Territorial Politics of the Intertidal Zone in Taiwan
Authors: Hung, P.
Publication Date:
August 05, 2019
Journal: Annals of the American Association of Geographers
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Online

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Hung, P. (2019). Placing Green Energy in the Sea: Offshore Wind Farms, Dolphins, Oysters, and the Territorial Politics of the Intertidal Zone in Taiwan. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, .
Abstract: 

The development of offshore wind farms has been a way for the state to repackage national development projects using green energy discourses. In Taiwan, where the further development of nuclear power is suspended due to public antinuclear sentiment, offshore wind farms have been heavily promoted as a way of meeting electricity demand. The planned site for offshore wind farms, mainly the intertidal zone along the coast of Changhua County, overlaps with both oyster farms and the habitat of Taiwanese humpbacked dolphins, categorized as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This has resulted in a clash between conserving the oyster farming landscape, protecting an endangered species, and developing green energy. Facing this dilemma, pro–wind farm discourses that highlight concerns about global climate change have gradually supplanted those stressing the welfare of oysters and dolphins, even though the latter have been used successfully as local icons by movements opposing previous development projects on the intertidal zone. This article reconsiders the politics of territorialization implied by the “green” label affixed to offshore wind farm projects and other forms of green energy in general. As such, the meaning of offshore wind farms, as a newly discovered energy resource, is intertwined with the changing meanings of both dolphins and oyster farms, as rival nonhuman objects of resource exploitation and natural conservation. The territorialization of such resources in the emerging discursive space of green energy has proceeded via relational placemaking with nonlinear connections among multiple human and nonhuman elements.

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