What’s New?


Ensuring a sustainable energy future involves technical complexity, but some of the biggest challenges are social: such transitions call for new politics, investments, social norms, and landscapes. Despite technological advances, public knowledge about, and support for, energy alternatives remains quite low. Energy development proposals are often polarizing and disconnected from discussions of overall energy mix and conservation measures.

Yet together, we must create a new sense of what is needed, desirable and possible for Canada’s energy future, and map ways to get there. Social understanding is critical to making the transition successfully and democratically. This research contributes to energy transition by building on wide-ranging social science research methods, focusing on sites of energy production across Canada.

Our work is happening at a national scale, as well as detailed cases in Peace River, AB, Mactaquac, NB, and Southern Ontario. This site provides overviews and outputs from that work, in conventional report and new media forms.

  • Video summary of national survey on energy literacy and energy preferences in Canada

Stay tuned for insights from our most recent phase of research on wind energy development in Alberta.


Imagination, expectation and deliberation: Pathways to wind energy landscape transitions in Alberta. Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Insight Grant, $199,730 (2017 – 2021). PI: Parkins (Alberta). Collaborators: Anders (Alberta), Sherren (Dalhousie), Davidson (Alberta)

Exploring and transforming a cultural imaginary of energy development in Canada. Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Insight Grant, $380,190 (2012-2016), PI: Parkins (Alberta). Collaborators: Beckley (UNB), Sherren (Dalhousie), Hempel (Guelph), Stedman (Cornell)