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Blowing in the Wind

A Rubicon project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Richard Fraser, Research Associate at the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit

The centre of China’s wind industry is the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, where conditions are aptly suited for wind power, comprising vast grasslands and a relatively sparse population. With all wind energy companies based in Inner Mongolia, the region accounts for 40 percent of national wind energy output and, with over 1 terawatt (TW) of unharnessed wind power - enough to satisfy China’s total energy demand - it is set to remain the centre of the country’s wind energy revolution. Inner Mongolia, however, is an ethnic minority region, one that has experienced conflicts as a result of the resource industries.

This research investigates the transition to wind energy in Chinese Inner Mongolia and its impact on the region’s ethnic minorities. Adopting a multi-scalar approach, it explores the linkages between the various stakeholders within China’s wind industry, including the national and regional state, international and Chinese wind energy companies, sedentary and mobile pastoralists, as well as the broader ethnic minority population.

For further information on the project, please click here.

Cambridge Interdisciplinary Research on the Environment is a group that was initiated through a seminar series funded by CRASSH in 2011. This series was co-convened by the Departments of Social Anthropology, Geography, and the Engineering Department's Centre for Sustainable Development.

The series brought together people from a range of academic and non-academic backgrounds including the sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences, and those working within policy, industry, activism, education, and media. The series has run each year since culminating in the Paris 2015: Climate Histories Seminar Series. 

The connections and networks made through the discussions in this series formed the backdrop against which some funding bids were developed and the projects that resulted are also featured on this site.