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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Research Staff

Dr Britta Turner

Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology

Contact Dr Britta Turner (email at britta.turner@durham.ac.uk)

My research interests primarily focus on the interface between energy technology developments and their implementation in different societies and the complex and often ambiguous effects they have on everyday life in different places. Much of my work so far has focused on Solar Photovoltaics and the manner in which the technology has been used in different contexts, primarily in Sri Lanka and the UK.

I completed my PhD in Human Geography here at Durham University in 2016 with a thesis entitled Assemblages of solar electricity: enacting power, time and weather at home in the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka. The thesis argued that a tendency to focus on diffusion and social acceptance of solar in both policy and research has left gaps in our understanding of how solar works as a material force in everyday life after installation. It aimed to move social science away from viewing energy as a neutral resource to be consumed, particularly within households, and towards better understanding of how its employment shapes different modes of social ordering.

Since joining the Department of Anthropology I have worked as a Research Associate for the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (https://www.lcedn.com). The LCEDN brings together international researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to expand research capacity around low-carbon development in the countries of the Global South.

I am currently leading a networking project focusing on sustainable futures for solar PV and battery waste: https://www.dur.ac.uk/dei/projects/sustainablefutures/ 

Research Interests

  • Low carbon energy transitions
  • Solar waste and value chains

Publications

Chapter in book

  • Adams, Charlotte, Bell, Sandra, Taylor, Philip, Alimisi, Varvara, Hutchinson, Guy, Kumar, Ankit & Turner, Britta Rosenlund (2013). Equity across borders: a whole-system approach to micro-generation. In Energy Justice in a Changing Climate: Social Equity and Low Carbon Energy. Bickerstaff, Karen, Walker, Gordon & Bulkeley, Harriet Zed Books Ltd. 91-115.

Journal Article