RE4T represented at Energy for Society: First International Conference on Energy Research and Social Science

Megan Davies, PhD candidate at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition recently attended the First International Conference on Energy Research and Social Science in Sitges, just south of Barcelona, Spain. The first event of its kind, the conference brought together an international network of academics within the fields of energy research and social science, with the aim of examining the relationship between energy systems and society. Interdisciplinary in nature, the conference covered a diverse range of themes, some of the prominent ones including energy institutions and governance, energy equity and justice, distributed and community energy, energy poverty, energy security, and the water-energy-food nexus. In her presentation, Megan introduced the focus of the Renewable Energy for Transitions (RE4T) at the CST, namely investigating the developmental impacts of the large scale renewable energy programme in South Africa, in line with a transdisciplinary research methodology. Drawing on her own transdisciplinary research engagements between May 2016 and April 2017, she then reflected more closely on the potential contribution of experimental governance in addressing some of the developmental challenges faced in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). As one of the few researchers from the global south, Megan’s insights on development and energy transitions in the South African context were a unique contribution, particularly in how the RE4T supports a transdisciplinary approach to research. Overall, the conference was an enriching experience, and an invaluable opportunity to connect to a wider international discourse on the growing connections between energy research and social science.

Presentation MDavies

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