E.F. Chipango, Constructing, understanding and interpreting energy poverty in Zimbabwe: A postmodern perspective, Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 75, 2021, 102026, ISSN 2214-6296,
Energy poverty is well acknowledged in the global public and scholarly discussions. Nonetheless, it is habitually analysed in isolation from the discourse through which it is framed, produced, represented and known. Using Zimbabwe as a case study, inductive qualitative research reveals that there is one main discourse associated with energy poverty: net deficit (supply–demand mismatch). This discourse is expressed by narratives that have competed for dominance in the Zimbabwean energy sector (2012-present), in particular, the effect of changes in the climate, vandalism of electricity infrastructure, the impact of sanctions, and the low rate of renewable energy adoption, are analysed. Findings reveal that these narratives construct and interpret energy poverty as an outcome of external factors, while alternative views are scarcely considered due to asymmetrical power relations. The paper concludes that energy poverty cannot be understood outside of the political-economic discourse that constructs and interprets it. Hence, a discursive approach to energy poverty is apt for informing a well-balanced energy policy and practice.