Energy Landscapes: Archaeologies for Net Zero

Activity: Talk / Presentation / Podcast / WebinarOral presentation


This paper explores archaeological approaches to energy landscapes and examines the role of contemporary archaeology in the transition to Net Zero. The archaeologies of different energy regimes will be discussed, from extractive peat, oil and uranium mining to renewable regimes of wind, wave, and tidal energy and green hydrogen production. What are the archaeological traces of energy production now and into the future? How can a fine-grained understanding of site-based energy transitions in the recent past enable greater readiness for transitions yet to come? Drawing on a recent project, Orkney Energy Landscapes, the methods of recording energy sites and landscapes will be discussed in the context of Orkney’s renewables revolution. Orkney is a place where renewable technology not only has a history but is also part of an unfolding story of technological innovation and testing. Contemporary energy sites and landscapes require new methods to record and track processes that are still emerging, at a range of scales and settings (e.g. from device test sites to the next mega-industrial installations of the offshore wind industry). This research is highlighting how contemporary archaeology can contribute to wider energy debates and help enable action in the face of the climate emergency.
Period5 Nov 2023
Event titleContemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory Conference 2023
Event typeConference
LocationPatras, GreeceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Contemporary Archaeology
  • historical archaeology
  • Energy
  • Heritage
  • Net Zero