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Seminario: Power from wastes as a solution to the oil and garbage crises. Techno-politics of energy in an urban context (Montréal, 1980′-1990′)

El miércoles 30 de noviembre a las 18:00 h en formato híbrido (Salón de actos del IILP-UV, Plaza Cisneros, 4, Valencia) y ZOOM, Anaël Marrec (Universitat de Nantes) presentará su investigación sobre la tecnopolítica de la energía dentro de un contexto urbano concreto: la ciudad de Montreal en las últimas décadas del siglo XX. Analiza la polémica fábrica de Gazmont dedicada a la producción de gas mediante el tratamiento de biomasa procedente de residuos urbanos. Mediante una gran cantidad de documentación de archivo, este caso en particular, permitirá analizar las dimensiones tecnopolíticas de estas energías renovables y las cuestiones de justicia ambiental planteadas dentro de un barrio económicamente marginado.

Resumen

The Gazmont landfill gas power plant in Montreal is a model of urban renewable energy production facilities. This infrastructure commissioned in 1996 recovers the biogas generated by the putrescible waste stored in one of the biggest urban landfills of North America. It turns into energy a product that is otherwise toxic and a source of greenhouse gases. A flagship element of the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex, it contributes to its positionning as an urban showcase for green technologies. However, despite the ecological rhetoric of its promoters, the Gazmont project, which began in 1986, was contested by associations and groups of citizens from the Saint-Michel neighborhood and the city. These stakeholders pointed out the environmental risks and the lack of economic and social benefits for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. This one had a long history of economic and social marginalization, from the industrial period of the Miron carrier to its gradual transformation into a huge landfill in the late 1960’s. Based on a survey conducted in early 2022 in Montréal, this communication will examine the history of Gazmont from its emergence, at the crossroads of the double ‘crisis’ of waste and energy and the deindustrialisation of an urban neighbourhood. It will show how the intersection of the history of technology and environmental history approaches makes it possible to study the territorial inscription of energy projects. More precisely, the techno-political approach will focus on the power relations between the project’s actors and the way they shape the energy infrastructures. The enviro-technical approach will focus on the materiality of the power plant site and its role in the future of the project. The case study will also address the environmental justice issues raised by urban infrastructure projects. Finally, it will show an example of fieldwork in contemporary history using a variety of sources: archives (municipal, national and company), oral investigations.

Fuente: UV