Die Onto-Topologie der Energiewende - Volatile Ströme, endliche Energien und die Sicherung des Bestandes

Andreas Folkers


This paper analyses the problem of integrating volatile renewable energies into the electricity system from an onto-topological perspective. It introduces the notion onto-topology by engaging with a series of approaches – from STS, Anthropology, Foucault and especially Heidegger – that seek to analyze existing ontologies understood as specific ways of assembling being(s). The onto-topological approach emphasizes ontological pluralism and concentrates on conflicts between intersecting modes of existence. The difficulties in integrating electricity from renewable sources like wind power and photovoltaic into the electricity grid without compromising the grid’s stability stem from such a conflict. Whereas conventional power stations produce electricity on demand and therefore make up being as „standing reserve“ (Heidegger), volatile renewable energies belong to an ontological constellation characterized by the play of presence and absence. The paper analyses the various technologies for the secure integration of renewables – network expansion, storage, prognosis, informatics – as an equally profane and ontological security dispositive that transforms wind and sun into ubiquitous and continuous presence and thereby secures “the ground” of the modern, techno-capitalist world.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2017.10.1.943