Project Info

Energy Intensive Businesses and Renewable Energy

Kathleen Hancock

Project Goals and Description:

This is part of a social science book project that examines the new political players supporting renewable energy in the US and beyond.  The falling prices of solar and wind has changed the politics of renewable energy, upending assumptions about who supports renewable energy and the political strength of the industry.  Understanding who these new actors are can lead to increasing support for renewable energy and thus hasten the energy transition.  A new group of players, not previously discussed in the literature, are service-oriented energy-intensive businesses, such as data-processing centers, bitcoin companies, and casinos. The larger project examines when Republicans support RE, the role of social justice organizations, and the rising strength of solar and wind companies in terms of jobs, lobbying sophistication, and economic strength.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Not applicable.
This is an on-going project.  There are currently no published papers, but the student may contact me to request related conference papers.

Primary Contacts:

Kathleen Hancock,

Student Preparation


The student must be comfortable interviewing people and brainstorming with me and able to engage in independent research and think creatively.  We will be working together on fleshing out the project.


3-5 hours


They will learn a great deal about politics and how social scientists think and work.  Depending on prior skills, they may strengthen their writing skills.  They will take an on-line course in human subject research and learn about the review process for approving human subject research.  They will learn how to prepare for and conduct professional interviews.


We will meet each week.  I will review their work and we will brainstorm next steps together.


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